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Dog Owners Responsibility, Animal Cases in Florida

animal-cruelty-charge_180x120Raccoons that attacked two small dogs in Lantana and Lake Clarke Shores have tested positive for rabies, health officials said Friday.

The animals, a dachshund named Petey and a Chihuahua named Rosita, were both current on their rabies vaccines, meaning they will likely be fine. They will be monitored at home for 45 days, said agency spokesman Tim O’Connor. No humans were exposed, he added.

The dogs were bitten by two different raccoons. The dachshund was attacked on Monday in Lantana, near the Intracoastal Waterway. A landscaper later found a dead raccoon on the property, and it was handed over to Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control.

The Chihuahua was bitten in its backyard in Lake Clarke Shores on Thursday, where a sluggish animal was discovered.

It’s a sobering reminder that rabies is active in local wildlife, making it imperative that pet owners keep their animals current on their rabies vaccines, O’Connor said.

As of March 20, 29 human exposures to rabies have been logged by health officials in Palm Beach County, down from 38 exposures at this time last year.

If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200 (full story, source).

Pet Owners Responsibility

Among companion animals, dogs are unmatched in their devotion, loyalty and friendship to humankind. Anyone who has ever loved a dog can attest to its hundred-fold return. The excitement your dog shows when you come home, the wagging tail at the sound of the leash being taken from its hook, the delight in the tossing of a tennis ball, and the head nestled in your lap-those are only some of the rewards of being a dog owner.

Owning a dog is not just a privilege-it’s a responsibility. These animals depend on us for, at minimum, food and shelter, and deserve much more. If you are considering taking a dog into your life, you need to think seriously about the commitment that dog ownership entails. If you already have a dog, you need to consider if you are fulfilling all your obligations as its owner.

The AKC is committed to helping dog owners raise happy, healthy dogs. The list below is certainly not exhaustive, but it contains some of the essential ways you can be the best dog owner you can be (source):

  • Think First
  • Make the Commitment
  • Get Ready
  • Bring Your Dog Home
  • Keep Your Dog Healthy
  • AKC Pet Healthcare Plan at a Glance
  • Keep Your Dog Safe
  • Be a Friend
  • Train Your Dog
  • Breed Responsibly
  • Get Involved
  • Be a Canine Ambassador

In Florida, animal cruelty can be charged as anything from a civil infraction up to a felony. Those charges, as well as fines, add up when a person is charged with cruelty or neglect to a group of animals. Lawyer Andrew Stine won a test Florida case that established if a person is charged with animal neglect of a group of animals (such as 100 dogs or 25 horses), the person can only be charged with one crime.

West Palm Beach Animal Cruelty Defense Attorney

Few law firms in Florida have as much experience-or as much success-defending people charged with animal cruelty or neglect, as the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A. in West Palm Beach. Andrew Stine has handled some of the biggest animal cases in Florida and has never lost a case.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Examples of animal cases include:

  • Animal cruelty involving dogs, cats, horses, and parakeets that were malnourished, poorly maintained, or abused
  • Dog-fighting cases involving pit bulls
  • Cock-fighting cases
Animal Cruelty Defense

Defense in animal cases usually involves a thorough investigation and expert testimony from veterinarians and other animal owners as to what the community standard is for taking care of animals. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., we go beyond this basic defense strategy to help our clients avoid fines and other costs associated with the crime.

Our law firm has an exceptional track record of getting many animal cruelty charges dismissed prior to trial. Andrew Stine is also experienced in clearing arrest records through the expungement process. If your record has been cleared and you are asked on a job application or apartment lease if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you can confidently answer, “no.”

Animal Care and Control (ACC)

The ACC is responsible for the initial investigation in an animal cruelty complaint. Often they will walk through yards or look through fences for evidence police can use to obtain a search warrant. These searches walk a fine line between what is legal and what violates Fourth Amendment rights.

Andrew Stine loves animals and owns several. However, he loves people and protecting their rights more. If any evidence is obtained through an illegal search of property, he will strive to have that evidence suppressed and the case dismissed, if possible.

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