Hoarding Animals and Puppy Breeding in California Have Legal Consequences
California has some of the strictest animal rights laws in the country. Although most people think the protected animals are domestic, it also includes wildlife, farm animals, and strays. Because people typically see animals as innocent and unable to defend themselves, the results can be devastating if an animal neglect case goes to trial. Animal hoarding and puppy breeding are two groups who face these charges often. Having a legal defense attorney fighting to get charges reduced or dismissed is critical in the outcome of animal-related charges. Having an expert criminal lawyer who reads and interprets California’s laws can effectively counter the evidence and get a more favorable outcome. Courts, judges, and jurors do not look kindly at animal abuse or neglect, so evidence must show there was no ill intent by the accused. If you are facing charges of animal hoarding or are a breeder facing criminal charges, please call to speak with an experienced defense attorney immediately. Animal-related charges in California should be taken seriously and trying to fight them alone is a mistake.
Hoarding Items v Hoarding Animals
Although hoarding is associated with mental disorders, most people think of hoarding items like magazines or trash. If you have watched an episode of Hoarders, often, the hoarder may place themselves in danger due to the clutter and excessive build-up that makes living unsafe. The collection and hoarding of things make living in the home hazardous and prevents emergency services from getting access if necessary.
When it comes to accusations of hoarding animals, the animals are considered in danger and must be removed. There is typically some suffering involved, and in San Diego, accused animal hoarders can face charges and lose animal ownership privileges. If animals have been removed from your property and you are being charged with animal hoarding, seek a professional attorney to help you.
What Are Animal Hoarding Charges?
The charge typical for those accused of hoarding pets is animal neglect. Often a neighbor’s tip notifies law enforcement or an animal welfare agency. After signs of neglect are observed, the animals are removed. During the removal process, many of those losing their pets are heartbroken. The emotional state of people losing their animals results in them saying too much and giving information that may negatively affect them in court.
The people who are accused of animal hoarding often love animals, and this is what makes it so challenging. Since the intention behind animal hoarding is often not ill will, most will be charged with neglect and face penalties that do not include time behind bars.
A Mission to Save Animals Becomes Overwhelming
One of the hardest things about animal hoarders is that they typically love animals. Many animals end up being rescued or strayed, so the person hoarding animals does not want to turn away an animal in need and believes they are doing the right thing. What often begins as a legitimate rescue effort becomes an overwhelming number of animals to care for. As hoarders become overwhelmed with the number of animals to care for, they often lock or tie them up to manage the sheer numbers.
What starts as a mission to rescue as many animals as possible often turns into animals suffering. The most common things law enforcement looks for in these cases are the signs of undernourished animals deprived of essentials and medical treatment. Other signs are infestations of fleas and lack of grooming, leaving hair matted, and skin conditions evident with no medical attention. In most cases, overcrowding forces animals to live in their feces, which creates additional health issues.
Breeders Facing Animal Cruelty and Neglect Charges in California
Breeders are another group of people who may face animal hoarding and neglect charges. Animal breeders breeding to make money, even if it is dangerous or harmful to the animals, is considered a puppy mill. Puppy mill owners in California will face severe charges if convicted. The courts do not take these cases lightly. Prosecutors and jurors do not tend to lean in favor of puppy mill breeders, which is another reason that an experienced criminal defense attorney needs to be brought into the situation as soon as possible when facing criminal charges of animal neglect and hoarding. Anyone being investigated for either of these scenarios should seek professional counsel immediately.
California Penal Code 597 addresses animal welfare in California, which covers animal hoarding and puppy breeder cases. A critical factor in conviction is if the act is malicious. Actions include if an animal is overworked or deprived of survival needs like shelter, water, food, and medical attention. A professional lawyer can help gather evidence to show the courts the acts and intent were not ill-intended. An excellent criminal defense attorney will fight for the lowest charges and seek dismissal. If you are in San Diego and have been accused of animal hoarding or negligent breeding, contact the Law Offices of Joni Eisenstein. There is no better legal representation with experience helping clients fight animal-related crimes.
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