Since it appears that Gloucester County intends to continue the Reign of Terror with Animal Control we will look to the Constitution of the United States on what you need to do to protect yourself. When dealing with county officials remember to be a gentleman or gentle lady being polite at all times. If they are anything but polite that is grounds for you to file a complaint against them with the county for violating the County Employment Guide.
The Constitution of the United States with the Bill of Rights was written for us to limit the government intrusion into our lives. Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States? How about the Constitution of Virginia?
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.
The first thing you need to do is to post no trespassing signs around your property. You are not required to let anyone on your property without a proper search warrant. When they knock at the door be polite and ask them to leave. This includes the person that is performing the reassessment for property taxes. Your home is your home and it's your choice who you open the door and allow in to visit. Be polite they are trying to do a job to search your house for whatever reason be it property assessment, animal control, etc. Tell them no they may not come in and they may not look around, the property is posted you would need them to leave. At this point if they do not leave they are breaking the law, if it was me I would then call the State Police and explain you are in fear, you have asked the person or persons to leave and they will not, and need the State Police to respond because it appears someone is impersonating a county official (do not make a false report when making the call).
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.
Animal Control in the past carried pocket recorders and recorded everything said and based on what has been reported on Mr Thompsons web site they have altered the recordings to use against people. Based on past procedures we can only assume they will continue to do the same. Tell them you do not consent to be recorded, be polite but firm (it is best to make your own recording to protect yourself). Tell them you will not talk to them without your lawyer present and ask them to leave.
To protect yourself you need to be polite to them, call a neighbor to have a witness, go outside and lock the door behind you so they cannot push their way inside or do not answer the door.
These protections were put in the Constitution of the United States because our founding fathers were abused by the British Authorities and they did not want it to happen to us. These rights are also in the Virginia Constitution and will be covered in the future; however, they are better known from the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States and that does supersede the Constitution of Virginia and the Virginia Code.
I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice. Our founding fathers were not lawyers either they were men of all walks of life and used common sense in their laws.
“For the Common Good. “
Alexander James Jay
P.S. If the county is not willing to respect the rule of law we need to ensure we are knowledgeable of our rights to protect ourselves.