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Archive for March, 2010

Animal Cruelty Charges May Arise From Failing to Provide Appropriate Veterinary Treatment for a Sick Animal

March 26th, 2010 2 comments

Could One Face Criminal Animal Cruelty Charges for Denying Medical Treatment to a Sick Dog?

Animal Cruelty Charges Arise from Refusing to Obtain Veteriary Care

In a recent case, a man in Tampa, Florida was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for allowing his two dogs to suffer life-threatening injury and disease and then refusing to obtain appropriate medical treatment for them. 

One of the dogs was struck by a car and injured, but the man failed to seek veterinary care for its wounds even after being advised by a doctor that the dog needed treatment.  The other dog was suffering from a potentially fatal uterine disease; however, the man refused to get care and treatment for her, resulting in the dog growing emaciated. 

The dogs were reported as being abandoned.  Following an investigation, the man, Peyman Boroujeni, was charged with two counts of third-degree cruelty to animals under Florida law.

Florida’s Felony Animal Cruelty Law

The crime with which Boroujeni was charged is third-degree felony cruelty to animals under section 828.12(2), Florida Statutues.  The statute provides:

A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, is guilty of a felony of the third degree.

Florida courts have emphasized that felony animal cruelty requires an intent to commit the act that results in the cruel death or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.  The crime does not require an intent to cause the death or suffering, only the intent to commit the act that results in the death or unnecessary suffering of the animal. 

Accordingly, in order to convict a defendant of third-degree cruelty to animals in Florida, it is not necessary to prove that the man intended for the dogs to suffer.  The prosecution must merely prove that he intended to do the act (refusing to get medical treatment) that resulted in their unnecessary suffering.

Mere negligent behavior that results in the death or unnecessary suffering of an animal amounts to a first degree misdemeanor under section 828.12(1), Florida Statutes.

Third-degree cruelty to animals is punishable in Florida by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Disclaimer:  This article is in no way intended as legal advice.  For help with specific legal issues surrounding Florida’s animal cruelty laws, or the laws in your jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in your local area.

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Categories: Animal Cruelty Law

Does Your Dog Need a Pet Passport to Travel to Other Countries?

March 26th, 2010 1 comment

Traveling Internationally With Your Dog

If you are planning on traveling to another country with your dog, it is best to do some careful homework well prior to your planned trip.  Most countries have very specific rules concerning pet immigration.  Making advance arrangements and checking out the laws of the country of destination will help avoid problems when you try to take your pet abroad.

Create a Pet Passport for Your Dog Prior to Traveling Internationally

Create a Pet Passport So You Don't Have to Leave Your Dog Behind When You Travel

A pet passport is a set of all identifying and health-related documents the destination country requires for pets to enter the country.  Again, different countries have different requirements concerning what is demanded.  But travelers who do not have all their pet’s documentation in order may end up having their pet placed in quarantine upon arrival in the destination country.  

For members of the general public traveling outside the United States with pets, the U.S. Department of State recommends the following:

  • Contact the appropriate embassy in Washington to confirm the destination country’s entry requirements.  Some embassies will provide forms in English for your veteranarian to complete.  Note that some countries do not permit pets to enter at all and others mandate quarantine in all instances. 
  • Review the list of International Animal Export Regulations compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
  • Check the destination country’s requirements to see how close to departure any required veterinary examination, vaccinations and tests must be scheduled. 
  • Arrange with your veterinarian to have the required vaccinations and certifications completed within the specified time period.

Pet Travel provides pet passport, immigration and quarantine information on more than 100 different countries and is an excellent resource for people wishing to take their dogs along when they see the world.

Additional Resources:  Visit Dog-Friendly Rotterdam in The Netherlands; Visit Dog-Friendly Gothenburg, Sweden

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Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet: Helping Military Members Keep Their Beloved Pets

March 25th, 2010 1 comment

Military service members who get deployed often face the harsh prospect of having to give up their pets simply because there is nobody at home to take care of them while the service member is away. 

For those of us whose pets are very much part of our hearts and families, this seems unthinkable.  Our military personnel already sacrifice so much to serve the country.  They should at least be able to look forward to being reunited with their best friends when they return home again.

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet (or “GASP”) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization whose mission is to support “military service members, veterans, and their beloved pets to ensure the pets are reunited with their owners following deployment or emergency hardship.”  Toward that end, GASP has established three programs:

  • The Foster Home Program provides an “alternative to the unwanted surrender of beloved pets of our deploying service members.”  The group has a network of volunteers all over the country who open their homes to provide a loving and healthy environment for the pets until they can be reunited with their owners.  This program is provided at no cost to the military service member. 
  • The Military Pet Assistance Program assists those involved as foster pet parents through the Foster Home Program.  When funds are available, the program will also assist military service members, military spouses and veterans facing emergency hardships.
  • The Military & Veterans Pet Sanctuary Project is working toward setting up facilities throughout the country to provide temporary shelter for pets until a foster home can be found. 

Anyone interested in fostering a pet, contributing or volunteering in some other fashion will find all the information they need at the group’s website.

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