|English: Olympus Digital Voice Recorder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
One of the issues that has come up to our attention time and time again is that Animal Control Officers carry pocket digital voice recorders. They conceal these in their pockets and when they go onto a property, they record everything that goes on. Not a bad thing in itself, however, they never tell you that they have one of these on them and they do not tell you that you are being recorded. These recordings sometimes end up in court and are used against you. What has been reported to us numerous times is that the recordings have been altered from what was really said. In the event you think this is nothing but hot air, we are going to give you a link to one of our other sites where we obtained altered animal control voice recordings.
https://sites.google.com/site/gloucestervanews/ These recordings were used against a person in a court of law. They were altered from every test we could conduct on the recordings.
If animal control shows up on your property, one of the first things to ask them is, "Do you have a voice recorder on you"? Are you recording this conversation? Tell them that you do not consent to being recorded. If it's your property, even if you are only renting, you have a right not to consent to being recorded. Each question they ask you, start out your answer with, "I do not consent to being recorded". Then answer their question.
What we highly recommend is keeping a camera around or close by and should animal control show up on your property, immediately start video recording them. You want your own records in the event they take you to court. As long as they are on your property, you have the right to video record them. If they get out of line then upload the video to every site you can think of such as You Tube. Here is a list of 31 sites beyond You Tube for posting that video.
http://chaos-laboratory.com/2007/08/30/top-31-free-alternatives-to-youtube-video-hosting-sites/ It's called leveling the playing field.
Another tactic that Animal Control and some police and or sheriff's deputies use is intimidation tactics to get you to violate your own rights. They use the power of their badge and gun to just walk right into your home, garage, storage area or any other personal area. If you try and challenge them, some will tell you that they have the right to do this. After all they are wearing a badge and have a big scary gun on them. Don't be fooled. They do not have the right to enter your private area without a valid search warrant. Make them get one if it's that important.
We have seen a sheriff's deputy barge right into a private home because of a noise complaint. This deputy was nasty as all get out and in complete violation of the renters rights. We have interviewed several different families that have had Animal Control barge right into the house of the owners and take away their pets. There was nothing wrong with the pets. The owner in one case had made a complaint about a pesky raccoon in the area.
Just because someone is wearing a badge and carrying a gun does not give them the right to violate your private home. In the event that this does happen to you, we highly recommend that you locate your local state police telephone number and put it into your contacts on your phone. You will want to tell the local animal control officer that he or she is violating your rights and that they must leave or you are going to call the state police and file charges against them. You can also do this against your local police or sheriff's deputies if your rights are being violated.
Even if you are just being served papers, video tape everything as we have heard of numerous cases where the police have mis stated facts in order to mis lead the ones being served. Check over the papers you have been served with a fine tooth comb and question everything. Look up the laws the papers say you have violated that are listed on the warrants and see if you are actually in violation of those laws or if you are just being hoodwinked. Do not be intimidated by any of these people. Most of our public servants are not bad people and are just doing their jobs so please keep this in mind. This information is just to cover areas for when people are having their rights violated and this issue is growing. If you are dealing with an honest person, they should not have any problems with you recording them to protect yourself.
And that is the name of this game. Self protection. Because if you are targeted for whatever reason, you are going to need proof of the violations. The only way to stop these violations is to level the playing field. Police use video camera's in their patrol cars, you can use your own as well. Do not ever let any officer enter your private property without a search warrant. It's a violation of your rights. If they enter and you have told them to leave and they do not leave, call your local state police and file charges against that person.
Do not be intimidated into not filing charges. File them. Now there are cases where animal control do have the right to enter onto private property and inspect animals without any kind of search warrant. If you are running a business with any kind of animals on your property, then you must allow inspections during normal business hours. You still have the right to video record animal control during the inspections, but you do need to allow the inspections. Inspections only apply to the areas where animals are kept. Not into other areas of your business or home. Please check your local and state laws for more information.
Disclaimer: We are not attorney's and this article does not represent legal advice. Only an attorney can advice you on your legal rights.
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