So-Called "Dangerous Dog" Cases
Many times every day, local Animal Services Departments hold hearings to impound or kill a family dog.
Maybe two dogs got into a scuffle, or a barking dog scared a passerby. In some cases, a person has been bitten. Very often, though, the charges are minor, unclear, in dispute, or even untrue. Yet, the complaint can lead to devastating consequences.
In these so-called “dangerous (or vicious) dog” cases, a family's dog may be forced into an animal shelter for weeks or months until the hearing takes place—at the family's expense. If they are adjudicated as "vicious," they can be killed (under the less threatening term, "euthanized.")
There are so many "dangerous dog" hearings in LA County that there is a huge backlog of cases. A hearing notice often arrives almost a year after an incident—and if it goes unnoticed or ignored and the person does not show for the hearing. s/he will lose not just the case but the right of appeal.
Word of mouth is that these hearings are "informal," and people interpret that to mean easy and fair and no big deal. But "informal" is a misnomer that lulls unsuspecting people into mistakes they often do not even realize. Hearings are under oath, on the record, and if objections are not made, the issues cannot be appealed—just like a formal courtroom.
Many people are not even aware they can have legal representation. Even if they do, a majority could not afford it.
EARN protects those who can't afford protection
For dogs in families who can afford to pay, there is Ryther Law Group. However, the freedom of so many other dogs—and the ability of their loved ones to protect them—depends entirely on the generosity of donors like you.