Archive for December 15, 2008

English Shepherds Seized in Montana

KPAX Montana reports:

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s office is investigating a woman and her treatment of more than 30 animals at her home near Ballantine.

Deputies seized more than 30 sick, injured and dead animals this afternoon.

Linda Kapsa, the woman who owns the home and the animals says she raises Pugs and English Shepherds to sell as pets.  She says the animals are her private property, and should not have been taken. She tells us that she still has over 300 dogs on her property.

kapsa

This isn’t Ms. Kapsa’s first run-in with authorities.  According to the Billings Gazette:

The department and Kapsa have a history going back to 1993, when Kapsa was ticketed for cruelty to animals, Bell said. Officers removed 120 dogs from the property at that time, and 20 dogs were returned, he said.

“Since 1993, our animal-control division has had numerous contacts with Miss Kapsa,” Bell said. Kapsa has been ticketed for rabies violations, dogs at large and other misdemeanor animal violations, he said.

The latest case began in June when animal control officers got a complaint from a person who was interested in buying a dog from Kapsa. The buyer went to Kapsa’s property and was concerned over what was thought to be “horrendous living conditions,” Bell said.

The animal control division received more complaints from others and has been monitoring Kapsa’s property off and on, Bell said.

Earlier this week, the animal control officers observed animals that were “in dire need of veterinary care,” Bell said.

[…]

In December 2003, county officials conducted a forced cleanup at Kapsa’s property. County workers and a contractor seized cars, building materials and other property at her home. It was the first involuntary abatement ordered by commissioners after they enacted a community blight ordinance.

Kapsa sued the county the following year, alleging it violated her constitutional right to privacy and due process. Kapsa’s attorney, Liz Honaker, said county officials erred because code enforcement officers seized Kapsa’s property without a judge’s order confirming that officers have probable cause to enter the property and conduct a cleanup.

KPAX adds:

Kapsa says she settled a case with Yellowstone County for $35,000 after deputies seized property in 2004. Kapsa says this is similar situation.

Lt. Schieno says he still needs to gather more information, and the Yellowstone County Undersheriff will announce the findings Friday morning.

Kapsa sells puppies on the Internet for $650 apiece.

The Gazette adds:

In December 2003, county officials conducted a forced cleanup at Kapsa’s property. County workers and a contractor seized cars, building materials and other property at her home. It was the first involuntary abatement ordered by commissioners after they enacted a community blight ordinance.

Kapsa sued the county the following year, alleging it violated her constitutional right to privacy and due process. Kapsa’s attorney, Liz Honaker, said county officials erred because code enforcement officers seized Kapsa’s property without a judge’s order confirming that officers have probable cause to enter the property and conduct a cleanup.

The 200 or so dogs that weren’t seized remain in Kapsa’s care.  The sheriff’s department is proceeding with caution – as they should – to protect Ms. Kapsa’s rights and to prepare a strong case against her – if it is warranted. 

Interested in helping English Shepherds in need?  You can donate to National English Shepherd Rescue by sending a check to:

NESR C/O
Melinda King, Treasurer
10602 Brittney Lane S. E.
Olalla, WA 98359

Or by clicking here to donate via PayPal

You can find information on the City of Billings Animal Shelter and the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter – including how to send donations here:

City of Billings Animal Shelter                       Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter

As we’ve cautioned before — please do not send donations to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) because they do not operate shelters and because when they were involved in recent seizures of large numbers of dogs in Houston and Louisiana alarming numbers of all of the dogs seized were euthanized.

December 15, 2008 at 1:59 am 20 comments


Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

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