Beware of the Pet Police

When they aren’t summarily executing family pets, some police can be found throwing pet owners to the ground, sticking a boot on the back of their necks, and arresting them on spurious “animal cruelty” charges.

At least this was the spectacle that unfolded a few days ago in the usually sedate city of Omaha, Nebraska: A platoon-sized contingent of police and animal control officers broke into the home of a dog owner and arrested him in order to enforce a complaint lodged by the local Humane Society.

The owner had taken his pet pit bull, Sable, to the vet a few days earlier. The dog was underweight and suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhea.

For reasons he didn’t explain and shouldn’t be required to, the owner declined further treatment of the dog, which was, after all, his property. The Vet disagreed and contacted the local Humane Society, which filed a complaint with the police when the owner, who had better things to do, declined the organization’s repeated demands that he speak with them.

Pam Wiese, who works with the Omaha Humane Society in a capacity best described as “commissarina in charge of paramilitary assaults on innocent pet owners,” defended the actions of the police, who swarmed the home with guns drawn and beat in the door with a battering ram before assaulting the pet owner and dragging him away to jail.

“They [the police] needed to do that based on the facts,” sniffed Wiese. “That’s what the city contracts them to do, to look into animal cruelties and make sure they’re not being perpetrated.” Apparently, needless police cruelty to humans doesn’t disturb Wiese.

Sable died shortly after the raid, and tests confirmed that she expired of natural causes, which means (in the words of that the owner “will not face additional charges in the case….” (emphasis added)

“Additional”? That’s right: Despite the fact that he did nothing wrong, the owner must be charged with something in order to validate the criminal actions of the police and their buttinski helpers in the Humane Society.

Point of personal privilege: A few years ago, I was threatened with a charge of felonious animal neglect because of an anonymous complaint that our German Shepherd puppy, Chief, was “underweight.” In fact, he was developing in perfectly normal fashion for his breed: German Shepherds of his kind don’t fill out until a more advanced age.

The animal control officer admitted that she had seen Chief in the company of my wife and kids a few days earlier, and he appeared perfectly happy and healthy — but she insisted that the complaint, which was apparently self-ratifying, meant that she was now effectively in charge of the care and feeding of our pet.

There is something breathtakingly perverse about the limitless ingenuity displayed by the state’s enforcement personnel in devising new excuses to turn innocent people into “criminals.”


12:40 pm on September 17, 2009