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Ohio anyone can legaly take your animals

Exotic legal issues, bans, laws, regulations, Animal Rights discussions etc.

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TamanduaGirl
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Ohio anyone can legaly take your animals

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:11 pm

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1717.13v1
1717.13 Any person may protect animal.

When, in order to protect any animal from neglect, it is necessary to take possession of it, any person may do so. When an animal is impounded or confined, and continues without necessary food, water, or proper attention for more than fifteen successive hours, any person may, as often as is necessary, enter any place in which the animal is impounded or confined and supply it with necessary food, water, and attention, so long as it remains there, or, if necessary, or convenient, he may remove such animal; and he shall not be liable to an action for such entry. In all cases the owner or custodian of such animal, if known to such person, immediately shall be notified by him of such action. If the owner or custodian is unknown to such person, and cannot with reasonable effort be ascertained by him, such animal shall be considered an estray and dealt with as such.

The necessary expenses for food and attention given to an animal under this section may be collected from the owner of such animal, and the animal shall not be exempt from levy and sale upon execution issued upon a judgment for such expenses.


Sadly this has been law for awhile but anyone can take your animal and claim they felt it was neglected. Only feed your pet once or twice a day because you don't want him to be fat, can be taken for neglect, got to have a full bowl at all times. Leave your dog out while your at work can be taken. Your pet horse, dog ect is on a special diet for health reasons, anyone can come on your property and feed it anything they want.
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Re: Ohio anyone can legaly take your animals

Postby Juska » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:00 pm

"If the owner or custodian is unknown to such person, and cannot with reasonable effort be ascertained by him, such animal shall be considered an estray and dealt with as such."

I think that can be argued that knocking on the owner's front door or leaving a note first would be "reasonable", so if they don't make an obvious effort to contact you (they're breaking into your property, they should at least knock on the door first), I'd say you could take that with you to court if someone took your animal under claim that it was "neglected". Especially if you have any kind of security cameras set up and it catches them going straight for the animal.

I mean, even if you had simple proof that you were home at any point within those 15 hours they don't have real cause to break into your home/property and take your animal. They had plenty of chance to get your attention before taking action, because you were at your home and could've answered the door, or a phone call, etc. Like it's one thing if you only show up at the property the animal is kept on once a week/month, but it's another thing when that's where you and your family live.

The other thing is it says " if necessary, or convenient," they can take the animal, otherwise they can't remove the animal, but I don't know if they further define what deems it "necessary". But I would think they'd have to prove the animal was in a life or death situation in order to justify taking it from your property. A half empty food or water bowl is not a life or death situation. The animal won't starve to death in 15 hours. And a lot of animals don't come quietly when a stranger walks up and tries to grab them...

Another thing you could do, with the advent of social media, is post photos of the animal(s) on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter on a frequent basis. That proves you are interacting with them frequently, the animal(s) are not abandoned or being abused. Like if someone broke into my apartment, took my cat and claimed she was neglected, I could show them multiple photos, that have timestamp data integrated into them, of her and I playing together/feeding her treats/etc. that I took for the past three years. But then again, if someone broke into my apartment, I don't have to wait until they wave a weapon at me to take physical action. Yay for PA "castle" law... icon_confused.gif
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Re: Ohio anyone can legaly take your animals

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:06 pm

It says OR convenient so they can take if they deem it more convenient than doing something else. As far as contacting the owner it says about doing that after you take it not before.

The main issue here is they can take them long as they claim there was neglect or they thought there was, or can feed them. I'd just rather it remain in the hands of the law, not that they don't take them sometimes where they really shouldn't either, but they are more likely to actually check into things first, like talk to the owner about why whatever is going on is.

Can/does anyone ever get punished(fined or something at least) for getting it wrong? Probably not.

I think the intent was good but it's too vague and broad. Could see a law like this only for immediate issues like tied to a house that's on fire or it's laying in a pool of blood or dragging it's self around the yard. If you just think it might need more food or has been out too long leave it to the authorities, or try talking to your neighbor. Water is a bit more iffy. If it's hot and there's no water could maybe see giving it some and not being fined for trespassing for it would be good.

And sure you may be able to prove the allegations wrong or have a reason for it like only feeding at meal times or no food because a pending vet visit or whatever but in the mean time someone already took them or gave them food they weren't meant to have. It just leaves too much power in the clueless public's hands. I also don't see anything saying that if you take someone's animal for perceived neglect that you have to hand it over to authorities, though you obviously should, it needs to actually say that. Though maybe they have a stray law that covers that since it says treated as a stray. Normally stray laws say something like needing to make a reasonable effort to find the owners, so in that case would again need to try contacting the owners so at least there's that.
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Re: Ohio anyone can legaly take your animals

Postby Juska » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:07 am

In PA I believe there's some verbiage about if you have a stray animal you aren't allowed to just keep it. I forget what it says you have to do but you can't just assume the animal isn't owned by anyone and keep it without telling anyone.
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