Senate bill reads like a bad joke

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Listen up all you animal lovers! I don't know what Sen. J. Hutchinson of Benton was smoking when he drafted S.B. 13. I do know he has no idea what he is talking about.

It is to long to publish it in it's entirety, but it reads like a bad joke. Anyone wishing a copy, I would be most happy to see that get you a one. I have already spoken to Sen. David Burnett, and he agrees that it is not likely to make it to the House. However, these nuts can put it in another bill and get some mighty dumb things passed. So do not think just because it is ignorant that it won't sneak past some tired congressman as a ho-hum.

In part, here is the entitled act:

"An act providing legal protection to animal owner and their animals: To ensure that only law enforcement agencies investigate charges of animal cruelty and for other purposes." The subtitle reads: "providing legal protection to animal owners and their animals and to ensure that only law enforcement agencies investigate charges of animal cruelty." Section 1 sorta goes like this: A diseased or injured animal; a) seized under this section may be appropriately treated for injury or disease without a court order; and it gets better -- if subject to being euthanized without a court order only when it is determined by a licensed veterinarian that euthanizing is necessary to prevent the suffering of the animal. A record shall be generated by the attending veterinarian setting out the reason or reasons for the euthanasia, the manner of euthanasia and the ultimate disposal of the animal's body. The owner must be given notice of the intention to euthanize any animal in a time period that will allow the owner to petition a district court to prohibit the euthanasia from taking place. It gets dumber: Except as provided in subdivision (c)(1) of this section, an appropriate place of custody shall not foster out, alter, or modify an animal in any manner, including without limitation the neutering, spaying, gelding or castration of the animal, without (1) a written court order that is issued after a petition is filed by the prosecuting attorney requesting alteration or modification and a hearing involving all interested parties as set forth in subsection (a) of this section; or the written consent of the owner. A violation of this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.

What I have gleaned from this mess is: you gotta have a valid warrant issued by a court with jurisdiction and executed by a certified law enforcement officer. Then you gotta have at least two licensed veterinarians with an affidavit in support of a search warrant. Now get this -- one of the vets has to be chosen by the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction, and one of the vets shall be chosen by the person against whom charges of a criminal offense have been alleged. One of those vets shall be a species specialist for the animal that was subject to the alleged criminal offense. Good Lord, by the time one goes through all the legal process the animal would die of old age!

In section three: A person who is not a certified law enforcement officer who knowingly conducts an investigation, including collection of evidence into alleged claims of criminal conduct involving an animal by another person or entity, or coerces a person to surrender his or her personal property through threat of criminal investigation or prosecution related to alleged claims of criminal conduct involving an animal by another person or entity upon conviction is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor ($5,000) per incident. WOW! I swear it gets crazier the more you read.

As Jazz would say: "One thing I have learned is that there is happiness in the world. You just have to let it come to you."

Thought for the week by Mark Twain: "It is by the goodness of God that we have in our country three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and the prudence never to practice either."

Have a safe week and remember there are hundreds of animals that need homes -- give them one. Contact me at PO Box 2374 or 870-740-0835.