Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters

 

Animal massacre sparking lawsuits

October 15, 2007  AP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Animal welfare groups will help Puerto Rico housing project residents pursue legal action after animal control workers seized their pets and hurled them to their deaths from a bridge, an activist said yesterday.

Puerto Rico-based Friends of the Animals, will help the grieving pet owners aggressively pursue claims of animal cruelty and civil rights violations, said director, Elizabeth Kracht.

Animal control workers collected pets from owners under threat of eviction, but later, dozens of animals seized were found thrown to their deaths from a tall bridge in a nearby town.

Owners sue over alleged pet massacre

October 21, 2007  AP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Pet owners whose dogs and cats were thrown to their deaths from a bridge have filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the company that took the animals away and others they claimed were involved in the killings.

The $22.5 million claim was filed in federal court against Puerto Rico
's public housing director, the municipality of Barceloneta, its mayor, the owner of a private animal control company and several others.

The 45 plaintiffs -- whose pets were snatched this month when local authorities enforced a no-pet rule in the island's public housing -- are seeking $500,000 each.

Animal control workers seized dozens of dogs and cats from three housing projects in northwestern Puerto Rico on Oct. 8 and 10, beating, drugging and then launching at least 50 of the animals to their deaths off a bridge, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit says that the owners had to watch as their beloved animals were taken, injected with "unknown chemicals" and slammed into vehicles. "The family pets that survived the initial brutality were thrown from a bridge," it says. Police have confirmed the involvement of Animal Control Solutions.

A telephone message seeking comment on the lawsuit from the office of the company's owner, Julio Diaz, was not immediately returned. Diaz earlier this week said the animals were taken to his offices near
San Juan, euthanized and placed in refrigerators, not hurled from the Vega Baja bridge.

Barceloneta Mayor Sol Luis Fontanes, who is also named in the suit, told The Associated Press yesterday that he had urged pet owners to file complaints with the police. "I understand that it's fair and reasonable that they proceed to a lawsuit," Fontanes said.

He confirmed that Animal Control Solutions, the municipality of
Barceloneta and the public housing administration were involved, but declined further comment. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made so far. 

Comment: Add your voice to the petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/puerto-rico-pet-massacre

Hurricane Katrina animal massacre lawsuit

2005: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while Pasado’s animal rescue team was in New Orleans, people were forced to leave their pets behind. Some 33 dogs and cats were cruelly shot to death at Beauregard Middle School in St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans. Pasado’s offered a $10,000 reward for information on the killing

2008 update: Citing insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, new state Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell has dropped animal cruelty charges against two men accused of killing stray dogs while working for the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Minton, 44, a former sheriff's deputy, and Clifford "Chip" Englande, 36, a sergeant who has been on desk duty for more than a year, were indicted on charges of aggravated animal cruelty in November 2006.The owners of some of the dogs have filed suit in federal court in New Orleans against the St. Bernard government, former Parish President Henry "Junior" Rodriguez, the Parish Council, Stephens and numerous deputies.

Japan rocked by huge earthquake and tsunami

U.S. Department of State refusing to allow people to evacuate with their pets

March 11, 2011

A powerful 8-9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the north-east coast of Japan, causing massive devastation and killing thousands and leaving more homeless. Video footage shows the worst affected towns being little more than piles of rubble.

The U.S. Department of State is refusing again to allow U.S. nationals to take their animal companions to safety, despite knowing for decades that in disasters like this, people faced with imminent life-threatening danger, refuse to leave their pets behind.  Officials with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other organizations like PETA have repeatedly asked that both people and pets be included in evacuation efforts. Pets are part of families, with emotions just like ours, and worthy of being saved, too.

PETA is asking that people contact Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, asking that the State Department change its official policy to allow pets to be evacuated simultaneously with their families, and that those in Japan be allowed to take their pets with them.

Related: The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) has two BC chapters, and has helped with local situations and those further away. Rabbit Advocacy recommends that you have plans and emergency kits in place to keep your animals safe and/or with you in case of any emergency situation.