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Heiry Question: Risking arrest for refusing to surrender your dog

Dhicon_thumb By DogHeirs Team | July 07, 2012 | Answers (52)

Imagine you are at home and an animal control officer comes by and tells you they are going to impound your dog for having bitten someone. However, you know your dog has been in a kennel and is innocent. If you don't give up your dog to Animal Control, police say you could be arrested for interference with official acts.

Would you go to jail to protect your dog?

William and Naomi Shimer did. Police arrested the Des Moines couple for allegedly refusing to let an animal control officer impound their dog and resisting arrest.

Police say the couple cursed at officers and threatened to fight them. When an officer reached for William Shimer he pulled away from the officer and the officer sprayed Mace in his eyes. Wiliam Shimer reportedly then shoved the officer and ran into the house and locked the door. 

black labrador retrieverA short time later they surrendered themselves and the dog was taken away and impounded.

The couple's grown son, Wayne DeVore, says that animal control officers were mistakenly taking the wrong dog. He says it was a stray black and white dog in the neighborhood that bit another person, not the family's black Labrador Retriever, who was in a kennel at the time.

He says that his parents were trying to protect their other children. DeVore accused officers of shoving Naomi Shimer while trying to arrest her and said another officer was rude to his 13-year-old brother when the child asked what was happening. That's when William Shimer became angry, according to DeVore. He denied his father had assaulted the officer. As of Friday afternoon Devore was in the process of retrieving the family dog.

Naomi Shimer was charged with interference with official acts. William Shimer was charged with interference with official acts and assault on a police officer. Both were taken to the Polk County Jail and have been released.


Would you go to jail to protect your dog?
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We actually have a plan in place should BSL ever hit our city, even though it's unlikely. Although our muffin would never hurt anyone, we also have a plan in place in case anyone tried to seize him for another reason. Anyone with a breed of dog that is discriminated against should. Remember what happened to Wicca the pit, who was secretly put down in Canada because someone claimed she aggressively scratched them. No one would ever take our muffin.
There's no way in hell that any cop or AC officer would ever take one of my babies from me, or my home. I would literally die first! As to the people who say let them take them and fight them from outside a jail cell, I say, 'go do some research on how many people who've fought it from the outside have been successful'! Maybe about 1%!! Once they've been taken, your chances of saving their lives, and/or getting them back is next to nil. You bet your ass I would fight anyone trying to put their hands on, or take away, my babies. I'd gladly take a bullet for any one of them...actually, for ANY animal being treated unfairly/abused, for that matter. I've done the same for humans too, although they are not nearly as deserving in most cases of the protection from their fellow man. And the cop that does the shooting of me better make damn sure that I'm dead because if I'm not, I will definitely get back up and continue to fight for my loved one. NEVER underestimate the power of love, whether that be for a human OR an animal!!!
My question is wouldn't everyone? Seems to me that this polls question is kind of silly, don't you think.
they'd better have a warrant, otherwise nobody's even getting into the house, let alone let any of them abduct any of my furbabies... and I like the advice of not even answering the door if a cop is there.
I would be arrested for my pets. I would want ACTUAL PROOF it was my dog. They immediately jumped to it HAD to be that dog with no investigation. If someone accused my dogs of that I would have to laugh at them.
No way in Hell is anyone taking my dogs from me.
If I knew my dog was not in the wrong and could prove it,there is no way in hell I would give them up! I most certainly would go to jail for my dogs!!!!They are more family to me than some actual relatives!
I have made it very perfectly clear that I would go to jail for my dogs. I will protect them because to me they are my children and beloved family members and no way in hell will I ever let anyone take them from me, tell me to surrender them, try to take them fro me I will leave the state before that happened. being without them is not an option nor is it negotiable. I would die for them and I mean that
Without a moment's hesitation
The officers had no business impounding a dog that had been under the owner's control the whole time and was not responsible for the bite. If this dog had a prior history of running the neighborhood, that would be one thing, but if the dog was responsibly kept, these owners and their dog should not be subjected to the trauma and possible sicknesses involved in impounding into a shelter. I'm all for animal control but I believe that often times animal control officers overstep their bounds when they do things such as this. I believe more research should have been done before running out and grabbing someone's family member.
I would die for my dogs, literally..
If I know my dog did not bite someone and I could not prove where the dog was then yes I might. But I can prove where my dog is all the time. MY neighbors know my dog has supervision 24 7. I never have my dog off a leash and in the yard he is loose.. But I am out there at ALL time with him. I dont turn my dog loose for any reason outside the yard. I had a friend who had this happen.. And the description they had did not fit the dog.. But the kid pointed out my friends dog in his own yard.. The owner and dog were both at a dog training event at the time of the supposed bite. He was able to prove it by calling a friend who was also at the event. SO there are ways to handle it.. And sometimes these officers do not use their heads.. One dog. Does not fit the description of the dog the person is pointing out. Better requestion the victim. They also have to have a warrant for the dog. They CANNOT just take the dog from you.
yes with bells on no way would i give my dog up without a fight one they probably wouldnt like and for sure end up in jail its called hillbyilly justice where i'm from
yes i sure would
Given the state of things these days I would defiantly put up a fight and risk going to jail for ANY of my animals. If I had any faith at all in the system I would co operate with the officials. But that doesn't seem to be working for anyone these days. With all the power abusing, animal hating bastards that make the decisions it's not worth the risk of co operating. Once they have your dog you will likely never get it back. Therefore I would fight like hell to keep my dog safe, with me.
Absolutley without question!!
I would protect my children the same as i would protect my pets! they are my family also and i know they also would do what ever it took to protect us. and if the majority of police were trained on animal behavior and screened for an unnatural fear of animals and prevented from going on such calls. I believe most of the problems that arise from animal complaints would no longer exist. a domesticated family pet should be given the same rights as a person. they should be allowed out on bail. not stuck in a kennel until euthanized. there is just so much ignorance and prejudice over breeds and size of pets.
Our dogs are licensed properly and have all of their shots, etc. However, we consider it an invasion of privacy when Animal Control comes to our door to 1) ask if we have dogs, 2) ask to see their license. There were no complaints, there is no reason for you to be at our home - you don't even know if we HAVE dogs??? So my husband told the guy, nope we don't have a dog. When our 70 lb, friendly and nosy girl walked right up the guy said, "Uh, what's that?" My husband looked him dead in the eye, straight faced and said "It's a cat. Have a nice day." Closed the door and that was that. At some point you have more rights than they think you do.
Unfortunately, as happened to this family, you can't win at the moment. The only outcome of fighting the police is to go to jail, and them taking the dog anyway. I would rather fight for my dog's return from outside of jail and prove that my dog didn't do it. You would lose so much credibility with the courts by going to jail yourself. My dog's important but my other children and family are equally important. Fight the battles you can win.
After the Lennox and other stories, you bet I'd go to jail before letting anyone take my dogs away.
"Law enforcers" always abuse their power & do whatever they like. Of course I would put up a fight if they were taking my dogs!
My dogs are contained at all times, as I consider myself a responsible pet owner. Considering the fact that they are either on a lead or in my fenced backyard,and I have posted "Beware of Dog" signs on the front and back of my house,if anyone comes to my door, they can clearly SEE the signs,so they are forwarned,not because they are dangerous, but because they are protective of their family.They are NEVER loose, and they are NEVER without supervision.they are ALSO microchipped, in case of a rare scenario happening.I know where my dogs are every minute of EVERY day. To answer the question, YES , I WOULD go to jail to protect my dogs, because I KNOW they are not out "roaming". If someone comes to my property and antagonizes them,in my opinion, they DESERVE to be reprimanded, by me, OR my dogs. I would CERTAINLY do the same for THEM.
NO DOUBT! We have no human children, we have only our four legged babies. They make take our babies after a fight, but along comes a lawsuit! We both can be more tenacious than our babies, and I have been told I have a hard time letting go of things,LOL! I'll have our babies home safe and sound, but that would not be the end of it.
If my dog did bite someone without provocation then yeah... I'd turn them over. But if they were in their kennel and I know for a fact they weren't out of my sight I would end up going to jail.
With all the cases of police getting the wrong address and the track record animal control has, I pity the fool who tries to take Brutus. Masacre isn't even the right terminology for the event that would take place.
My dog is like my human child. NO ONE would EVER take her from me. I have had her stolen once, it was the most horrible 4 days of my life. My ex boyfriend had stolen her to get back at me and dumped her with some kids on the side of the road. The kids parents took her to the animal shelter where we were reunited, thank GOD! He was charged with felony larceny
I had a similar situation. I used to own purebred Dingoes (I'm in Australia) and I was a founding member of the Aust. Dingo Assn. My dogs were quiet and placid, although they didn't come into the house, they had a huge yard in the backyard. One of the neighbours had a chihuahua who (I later found out) got hit by a car. So he came and kicked my fence in and said my dogs savaged his tiny dog, he even said he watched them do it. The local paper got involved, there was a full front page photo of his 7yo daughter on the paper with 'Dingo killed my pet' blazed across it. The local rangers came to investigate. They searched the yard, found no evidence of the 'missing' dog at all, they even searched inside and underneath the house. Nothing. They checked the Dingoes, no signs of blood or fur (other than their own). They said they had no evidence at all. I was still worried about this idiot down the street (who I'd had run-ins with on other matters before), so I had the dogs taken 'off site'. Later that evening, walking around the yard, I found the body of the little dog. It was right where the ranger and I had stood and had a conversation, there's NO way we could have missed this little light-brown dog lying on a whole big patch of dark rocks. It had obviously been thrown over the side fence on the blind side of the house (the non-driveway side). So, me, being the idiot I am, and feeling sorry for the little girl who lost her pet, took the dog to the owners and said, look, it's not savaged, I dont' know how it died, but it wasn't my dogs, and here's your dog so your daughter can bury it and get some closure'. DUMB MOVE. They then got the chase-you-down TV media involved, and I had to literally run from the house, with my infant daughter in a pram to get away from them all. I had people camped outside the house yelling that the dogs should be put down, it was just awful. Anyway, in the end, I found a Dingo breeding programme and sent the dogs interstate to it. It had a fantastic reputation, and I later found out my bitch was actually pregnant with 8 pups when I sent them away. It was one of the most heartbreaking things ever... Oh, and, in case you're wondering, I figured out what happened... The photographer, who took the tearful girl photos, and the tearful dog-funeral photos, was the BROTHER of the dickhead who owned the dog. It was all a setup, and I lost my two gorgeous dogs, and 8 pups out of it all. To answer the question - yes, I was threatened with jail if I didn't surrender the dogs to the rangers, but, because they had left the state, the rangers no longer had jurisdiction, and the case had to be dropped. But it was touch and go for a while.
The DEA 'accidentally' broke down my door and entered my house at 5am one morning.... they got the house number wrong. It was dark and they had the automatic weapons and a police dog with them. I dove under my bed, as much as I could and my dog stood on what wasn't under the bed and wouldn't leave my side. I had no idea who was aiming the gun and flashlight at me. They never identified themselves for almost 5 minutes, instead yelling at me asking where my boyfriend was... boyfriend, not a name. Well considering I'm a single mom and didn't have a boyfriend at that time I had no idea what they were talking about. Once they finally identified themselves and the NAME of who they were looking for, I mentioned that was my next door neighbor. Thankfully, their police dog was the smartest being in their group. It never approached me or my dog. Later I found out that if my dog wasn't standing on me they would have shot it. For THEM being at the wrong address. By the way, my address is clear on my residence and always has been. When I bought the house I was seeing a fireman, he made sure the house was clearly identified. Oh, and if they had told the local police where they were going and the NAME, they would have told them they had the wrong house.... 10 houses from the police station. The FBI did pay for the repair of my door, but til this day this has contributed to my PTSD. My dog wouldn't let anyone near me even later until after I 'introduced her' to the men and they had to give her treats for her to even acknowledge them when I told her it was 'ok'.
Arrested over my Skittles???? CNN would have a great Massacre story if someone tried to take her.
As far as they would to protect me, all you dog owners out there know what I mean.
Animal control never listens when people attempt to explain. I would DEF go to Jail for my dogs.
great lab, looks like a sweet heart,,,I would have gone to jail
Did the animal control officer have a green spot on his shirt pocket from the one bullet they let him keep, Barney Fife complex. To bad, some people put a badge on and think they have the right to loose all respect for people and think its ok for them to lie.
I wouldn't assault the officer like that as it looks bad in court. But I would clearly turn around go back in my house and refuse to come out. It's not like they have a gun or a search warrant and anything the officer does at that point looks bad on them. Plus if cops start swarming over your front lawn you can get the media involved and sure as heck somebody (and not the dog or the owner) is going to get blamed.
First of all if I had a window of escape--we would be gone from the town and state. But I found a great article about this, an officer telling how to protect your dog from authorities: confine your dog to a closed room if an officer has to come in, have all your personal and medical documentation on the dog, if their is a search warrant coming remove the dog from the premises to a safe location, etc... But if caught in the open and someone tried to do anything to my dogs, I would go off on them in all sorts of ways with no thought to jail, anything to protect my babies!!
i would be sitting in jail for assaulting both cops and especially the animal control officer.
Dogs protect their people (and livestock) every day somewhere (and sometimes risking their lives doing so) so why is it even a question? Hell Yes I would I would do the same for mine!
I would fight for my dog more than I would for some people.
Isn't this America?! Innocent until proven guilty??!! Obviously not for animals!
If I know that I have been a responsible owner and my dog has not done any wrong I would definitely defend and protect her with my own life,..no qualms!
I would defend my pets to the end. If it meant going to jail, then so be it. LET'S ALL END BSL AND IMPROVE ANIMAL RIGHTS!!!!!
You folks have to realise that the reason most Police ride 2 to a car is to meet the minmum IQ level. ie: 50 + 50 = 100. Therefore you can imagine what the IQ level is for the Animal Control personnel. It would take at least 6 of them to meet the minmum requirements if this story is to be believed.
My husband and I recently discussed this with the recent passing of Lennox, who was euthanized for looking like a pitbull. Being a pitbull owner, I do think of these things. I told my husband they will have to pry my dog out of my cold dead hand before they could take her. She escaped death twice in one summer and there is no way I would let this happen.
I wouldn't hesitate to go to jail for my animals. It's my job to protect them, anything less would be unacceptable.
If they were to come and try to take mine I would load them in my car and leave the state, as Im a working tax payer it would become their loss not mine, and yes they would not be able to just knock on my door and take my furkids as they are never out with out me and the rest of the time they stay in the house with me, there is no chains out side nore is there a dog house our a run of any kind, if you were to drive by my place you would never know that I have fur kids 3 girls and a boy, and my boy is a Mommies boy and very protective of Mommie, and because of this i have to watch him with a very close eye when any other male be it human or not hes very protective, and no hes not a pit nor a bull dog, hes a sheltie with a protive streak in him..
No because I can't help my dog from inside a jail cell. I need to cooperate with officials and work to free my dog. If I am uncooperative and combative, it won't be a stretch for law and animal enforcement to believe I have trained my dog to be so as well. I have to remain calm and think clearly.
I would try to work with the law to resolve the case but if that didn't work I would hide the dog and get a lawyer.
Where was the warrant? How do the police jut get to come take your pets from you, because someone says your dog did something? Animal control better not come on my property without a warrant , I WILL DEFEND MY FAMILY !!!
Why did the officer reach for Shimer in the first place? It seems questionable as to why the officer had legal grounds to lay hands on Mr. Shimer initially when he first pulled away from him and before he was sprayed with the Mace. They had no warrants, and no probable cause. If I were Mr. Shimer, I'd get an attorney and I would make the loudest noise I could make. I would be willing to bet the AC Police were in the wrong here and the City of Des Moines is just hoping no one catches on. The Mace and the time in jail were just icing on the cake. Can you spell LAWSUIT? If they don't want it, make it payable to the HSUS, they can always use the money.
Like i need to vote, i would of told the cops to get a arrest warrent and a search warrant. Also you never have to speak to police i would advise never answer a door if cop is there.
Somebody needs to have an eye exam. If the dog described for biting is black and white, then an ALL BLACK LAB doesn't appear to fit the bill. Now if the dog accused of biting was seen running off in that general direction, then looking for him/her house by house may be necessary, but you don't 'arrest' the wrong dog. We need to stand up for our pets like we do our kids.
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