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January 14, 2010 05:57 PM

Judge Will Decide If Dog Raid Warrant Was Legal


It's now up to a judge to decide if the warrant for a Hurley dog raid was obtained legally.  A two-day hearing over the warrant to take 172 dogs from Dan Christensen wrapped up Thursday.


Christensen's dog breeding operation was the center of a large raid back in September carried out by the Humane Society of the United States and Second Chance Rescue of Sioux Falls. Now, Christensen and his attorneys say Rosey Quinn of Second Chance Rescue never had the authority to carry out the raid. 

"She would have had to go before a circuit court judge and establish that she had competency to carry out her duties as an animal control officer, and she hadn't done a single thing," Christensen's attorney Brian Radke said.

But Rosey Quinn and the Turner County State's Attorney say they followed the law when they carried out the September raid, and they are ready to prosecute the Hurley breeder.

When Quinn was questioned on the stand Thursday, she said she has not been sworn in by a judge as an animal control officer since 2005. In 2006, new rules went into effect requiring animal control officers to be sworn in by a judge.

But Turner County State's Attorney Tiffani Landeen-Hoeke argued that Quinn is an animal control officer because the law simply says an animal control officer is anyone employed by an animal control agency, and Quinn is employed by Second Chance Rescue.

Judge Tami Bern is already working on her ruling in the case and is hoping to make a decision soon on whether the warrant was legal. If the warrant is thrown out, the evidence and the dogs,could not be used to prosecute Christensen.

Christensen and Radke say they will be ready to make their case no matter what the judge decides. 

"And we'll put on our best case, and we believe in this case, and I believe in Mr. Christensen and we'll just have to see," Radke said.

Judge Bern says she hopes to make her decision soon because this case has already gone on "too long."

Turner County State's Attorney Tiffani Landeen-Hoeke declined comment Thursday, saying it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.
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