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Monday, October 5, 2009

The Constitution of the United States of America & The Bill of Rights

In case anyone needs to brush up on their Constitutional Rights I have decided to include the document here...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article I
Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of Honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time: and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article II
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III
Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article IV
Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article VI
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwith-standing.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article VII
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth

In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

George Washington--President and deputy from Virginia

New Hampshire: John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts: Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King

Connecticut: William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman

New York: Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey: William Livingston, David Brearly, William Paterson, Jonathan Dayton

Pennsylvania: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Thomas FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris

Delaware: George Read, Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom

Maryland: James McHenry, Daniel of Saint Thomas Jenifer, Daniel Carroll

Virginia: John Blair, James Madison, Jr.

North Carolina: William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson

South Carolina: John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler

Georgia: William Few, Abraham Baldwin

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, September 19, 1787

And now for the Bill of Rights
Article I

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Article II
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Article III
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article IV
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article V
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Article VI
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article VII
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article VIII
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Article IX
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Article X
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article XI
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article XII
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Source: The Laws of the United States, printed by Richard Folwell, Philadelphia, 1796.

The Animal Control Officer Defined

So animal control officers are not police officers- thanks Wiki for clearing that up!

An animal control officer may be an employee of, or a contractor to, a municipality, is charged with the responsibility of responding to calls for service ranging from stray animals to investigations of cruelty to animals and dog fighting, and bringing them to a compound or animal shelter, where the animals are held for a certain time before being returned to their owners, put up for adoption, released back into the wild, or euthanized. Animal control departments are also responsible for investigating incidents of human contact with both wild and domestic animals, such as bites. They may work with Health Departments, police departments, sheriffs departments or parks and recreation departments.

Variations of the historical phrase "I wouldn't vote for him for dogcatcher" or "He couldn't run for dogcatcher in this county" refers to an individual so poorly regarded that the individual in question is not fit to be elected to even a trivial position of public trust. In actuality, this position is usually an appointed one in localities that have a dedicated full-time animal control officer.

The role of the Animal Control Officer has changed over the past few decades. Gone are the days of the big bad "dog catcher". Today's animal control officers focuses more on educating the public on proper animal care, and rescuing animals from dangerous or abusive situations. They also pick up dead or injured wildlife and stray animals for disposal or treatment. The position can either be held through the jurisdiction's police department, or contracted to the local shelter (usually the humane society or SPCA). Depending on the size of the county and the funding they receive, there may be a single animal control officer or a team of them on duty. Usually the requirements for this job are a high school diploma, and some prior experience with animals. Training is done both on the job, and through agencies such as Animal Services Training and Consultation (ASTAC) and the National Animal Control Association, which holds classes around the country. Some states, like North Carolina and Virginia, require state mandated training for Animal Control Officers or specializing as Cruelty Investigators. These courses are typically may be up to 80 hours or more in length and must be related to the job performed.

The amalgamation of animal control with other municipal code enforcement appears to be the latest evolution of the animal control officer's position and governments frequently cite that such an arrangement has allowed them to better streamline services and more effectively enforce local regulations. This has also brought about significant professionalizing of the bylaw enforcement field, and incumbents in these fields are increasingly relied upon to accept greater enforcement roles and responsibilities as police work becomes more streamlined toward criminal law. This has led to a greater dependence on local governments to regulate and enforce animal care, and cruelty investigations are increasingly handled at a local level, as opposed to being the sole responsibility of the state or provincial government. This has created municipal enforcement officers, who previously handled animal control, who are now engaged in a variety of quasi-police activities, especially custodial policing roles that for lack of staffing are not handled by police officers. ACOs and bylaw officers can frequently be found in police and municipal departments providing security to prisoners, guarding court houses, investigating dog fighting or writing parking tickets. This has led to increased police training and arming of these officials. The New York branch of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) employs several animal "cops" who are armed and have policing powers. This arrangement is becoming more common throughout the United States, particularly in larger cities where civilian animal control officers have difficulty conducting investigations due to a lack of cooperation from suspects. Such changes have also made a career in animal control and municipal enforcement more dangerous, requiring more skills and training, and accordingly offering greater compensation. Security clearances have also become the standard requirement, and as such, the process of becoming employed in one of these positions has become more time consuming.

Historically, Dog whippers were charged with keeping dogs out of churches in 16th- to 19th- century Europe; they also sometimes filled a more general animal-control role in villages.

Update: Our Case

I haven't written in a while due to school and our attorney asking me not to write any more letters. Seeing it was the letters that got me in trouble in the first place, I agreed. They didn't mention the blog but I want to be as helpful as I can, so just because I am not posting does not mean that my blog is dormant I would like nothing more than to enlighten the public to the corruption that plagues Riverside County. I was born here but sadly thanks to animal control I can no longer safely live in Riverside County. I will post more updates when possible and I wish all of the others struggling with their cases the best of luck. Please keep in contact with me and let me know when your cases are because I would love to show up and compare notes with you. Also it would be interesting to see if the animal control officers will lie on the stand in your case as they did in mine. Perjury is a punishable offense in case the animal control officers following this blog did not know....I looked it up so you guys can get to know more about it. Enjoy and I'll see you in court!
PerjuryIn civil and criminal court cases, witnesses, experts, and others are often called to testify for both the defendant and the plaintiff regarding the legal matters in question. These individuals will often slant their testimony to further their own interests. Perjury laws are what courts rely on to obtain truthful testimony. Perjury is the crime of willfully and intentionally making a false statement under oath in judicial or administrative proceedings.

For a false statement made under oath to be considered perjury, it must be in regard to a material (or pertinent) fact in the case. For example, lying about your age under oath in a court case will not be considered perjury unless your age is crucial to the question of law at hand. When a person testifies in a civil or criminal case, they will first be sworn under oath to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. To intentionally lie or misrepresent the truth in your testimony is a criminal offense. It is also unlawful to encourage another individual to commit perjury, an offense called subornation of perjury.

When a person is charged and convicted of perjury, they can face criminal penalties including significant fines and incarceration. Each state has their own laws regarding perjury and its consequences. The federal government has a few separate statutes for the crime of perjury. Under federal law, if a person intentionally and willfully states or subscribes any material matter which s/he does not reasonably believe to be true, may be charged with perjury. If convicted of this perjury, the defendant can face a significant fine and up to five years in jail. The same penalty is possible for a subornation of perjury conviction.

While the crime of perjury can be committed in both civil and criminal cases, perjury prosecutions arising from civil lawsuits are extremely rare. It can be more difficult in a civil case to prove that a witness is intentionally misstating or lying about a material fact. A perjury defendant can persuasively argue that they testified honestly, but perhaps from faulty memory, in many cases. Perjury charges in criminal cases are also rare. In 1996, US Sentencing Commission statistics indicated that in federal cases, only 86 of the 42,436 convicted criminal defendants were found guilty of perjury, encouraging perjury or bribing a witness.

In some cases perjury can be used as a threat, typically on the side of the prosecution, to coerce someone to provide more favorable information. While the prosecution will often threaten a witness, the number of actual prosecutions for perjury is diminutive. A prosecution may also try to get a witness in a perjury trap. A perjury trap is when the prosecution deliberately calls a grand jury witness with the goal of gathering information that will later but used to prosecute him for perjury.

Animals Owned by Man Facing Cruelty Charges Removed Some Stolen,Others Placed into Protective Custody

I know I have posted on this before, but I am going to say it again. I have nothing but disust for animal control and thier "efforts" to proceed in these cases where animals have been seized. Do I need to remind everyone that animal controls way of using the animals as evidence is to discard of the animals BEFORE a prelim has even been conducted. That was the way it happened in my moms case! Our horses were given to animal control by a judge that had no clue what was going on in our case. The judge that is normally assigned to our case looked about as disgusted when he questioned animal control a couple months down the road when the prelim began. Do I also need to remind everyone that animal control left these animals on the mans property with no food, or anyone to care for them. Anza is a rough place with all sorts of predators that could have gotten these animals. I remember getting emails from people begging for help up there when animal control dropped the ball. They spend several hours making sure all of our horses were taken, and when they seized Angel White's Great Danes not a dog was left behind- even if it ment charging the owners with overtime for these officers! I believe my moms overtime charges we $8000!!! Also by judging from the pictures of Nikki (also on this blog) there is no such thing as protective custody in the hands of animal control. Why is it ok for animal control to steal animals, but when it happens to them they don't like it? Play fair kids! lol I took this from the Riverside County Animal Control's website

On Wednesday, Animal Services officers discovered that some individuals claiming to be “rescue groups” removed animals (dogs, birds, cats, goats) from a property owned by Jack Ziniuk.

Mr. Ziniuk is facing animal cruelty charges and remains in custody.

The removal of the animals is a violation of state law. All these animals were taken illegally, said Animal Services Director Robert Miller.

Animal Services officers responded to the Anza property Wednesday afternoon to collect the remaining animals and placed them in protective custody.

All the animals – those in Animal Services’ custody, plus those stolen from the Anza residence – are the property of Mr. Ziniuk.

Animal Services is working with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to locate the illegally removed animals. A sheriff's deputy cited one woman for possession of stolen property and grand theft on Thursday afternoon in the Anza area.

“It's very important that the public have faith in its animal control professionals,” Miller said. “We know how to process these cases. Some of these animals could have potentially been evidence in the case pending against Mr. Ziniuk.”

Agricultural Teacher Arraigned in Animal Cruelty Case

Well it appears that Riverside County Animal Control is on a roll as far as charging people with animal cruelty goes. There is a saying ringing in my head....."Don't point your finiger at me unless your hands are clean.." I took this off of the animal control website it was posted on June 24, 2009. I guess there just aren't enough rapists and criminals to procecute in Riverside because the D.A is relying on animal control to bring in as many frivilous cases as possile to keep up the ratings. The trick is to keep it going long enough so the defendants get tired of fighting and give into a plea. Because we all know these cases will never get to trial, and after animal control has ruined the lives of these people (jobs lost, reputations ruined, and beloved animals taken) the evidence just isn't enough to follow through with a case. The magic number in all of these cases is 2 years and running! I would like to speak with this teacher....I wish her well in her fight to prove her innocence. Because in Riverside County, you are guilty until proven innocent and with the lack of know-how inside the public defenders office she will need all of the help she can get! I know that from experience.

A judge arraigned an agricultural teacher from the Alvord Unified School District on Tuesday on charges of animal cruelty. The teacher pleaded not guilty.

Tracy Michele Putnam, 48, an agricultural teacher at Norte Vista High in Riverside, is scheduled to return to Riverside County Superior Court for a felony settlement conference on Aug. 8.

The criminal complaint stems from a series of calls the Riverside County Department of Animal Services received regarding animal care practices in the Norte Vista High School’s Future Farmers of America program. Animal Services is seeking one felony count of crimes against animals – Penal Code Section 597 (b) – and two counts of animal cruelty for allowing injured animals to go without veterinary care.

Animal Services concluded that Ms. Putnam is suspected of allowing animals to live with severe injuries without getting proper and prompt veterinary care. Also, there were not appropriate ways of dealing with emergency situations during the weekends. Animal Services contends in its complaint. The allegations were first submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review in 2007. The case was filed with the courts in May 2009.

Animal Services Capt. Tammie Belmonte acknowledged that the case took some time to reach the courts, but she said she’s pleased that it is moving forward.

District Court In Kentucky Rules That Dogs Are Personal Property

So what exactly does this mean? It means that before animal control officers can seize dogs from a property, they must first have a warrant signed by a judge. So why are animals being seized without warrants and what can people who have had their animals seized do about it? Seizing animals without warrants is unjust and should not be allowed to continue, therefore, current cases and past cases where animal control officers seized animals without the consent of a judge via a warrant should be thrown out, or at least re-opened for appeal. For far too long, animal control officers have been acting as the judge and jury. The government was structured to be free of factions with checks and balances in place, so why is this behavior allowed to slip by. I do not believe for a second that these actions have gone unnoticed. They are allowed to continue because there is not enough attention on the acts. Here is the article that was emailed to me regarding the District Courts decision, I urge every individual that has been treated unjustly to immediately file their appeals after all, it is actions such as these that has brought Riverside County their very own U.S Attorneys Office.


Here are the main points highlighted in the the email:
1. Pets are personal property, under the Constitution. Due process, search
and seizure, etc.. (all protections provided by Constitution) apply to pets.
You are the OWNER of your pets (not the "guardian.")

2. Requirements for housing, treatment, etc.. cannot be mandated by
legislation to be different for intact dogs (vs. altered dogs.)

3. Seizure bond is FLAT-OUT illegal and unconstitutional. This practice
constitutes unlawful taking of personal property. If, after search warrant
is obtained, a person is arrested and their dogs are seized, their dogs
must be held AS IS (cannot be sterilized while held,cannot be sold,
"transferred" or euthanized) unless the owner is found guilty after trial.
Meantime, owner DOES NOT have to pay a dime for their care,until/unless
they are found guilty of the charges.