April 10, 2009
Five of the 14 dogs seized from a St. Paul residence on March 25 will remain at the Animal Humane Society (AHS) to find permanent homes, a Ramsey County District judge said Thursday, April 9. Seven dogs will be turned over to other rescue organizations, one will be returned to the owner who was under investigation, and one will be placed with a friend of the owner.
On March 25 the dogs were taken from a St. Paul residence under a warrant by the City of St. Paul and St. Paul Animal Control (SPAC). Issues associated with the seizure included: the individual’s lack of a permit to house such a large number of animals, lack of licensing to sell animals and the living conditions of the animals. Animal Humane Society was called to assist and 11 of the dogs have been in AHS's care since March 25. Three of the dogs have been housed at SPAC.
Chief Justice Johnson made the determinations in a disposition ruling. AHS officials had expected a full hearing where evidence of the conditions could be fully presented. Instead, the hearing did not take place. AHS Humane Investigator Wade Hanson expressed his disappointment. "Because this case involved an individual who has had a prior history of having too many animals and in compromised environments we are very disappointed we did not have our say in court."
The St. Paul City Attorney's Office has yet to file charges against the individual in this case. "We're hopeful they will be," says Hanson. "We want to be able to present the evidence in this case—veterinary reports, third-party reports, and videotape of the way these poor animals were living. And, we want to prevent other animals from being in a situation we're concerned may be neglectful."
The five dogs in the custody of AHS will be placed in the adoption centers soon.