Woman Who Fostered Dogs Disappointed In Ruling
June 16, 2010, 6:32 PM
PARKER, SD -
Second Chance Rescue Center doesn't have many chances left to build a case against breeder Dan Christensen. That's because the South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a lower courts ruling that the September search and seizure of 172 dogs from the breeder's property was illegal.
The ruling means that the 172 dogs taken from Christensen and any of the evidence collected by Second Chance during the raid can't be used during the trial. That could make it difficult for prosecutors to build a case to convict Christensen of inhumane treatment of animals. And, one of the families that fostered some of the dogs taken is disappointed in the turn the case has taken.
Davida Jaqua of Parker thinks the latest Supreme Court ruling could bring an end to the drawn out case.
"I don't feel there are too many more options. If they are able to come up with one, more power to them. I really hope that they have more options," Jaqua said.
Jaqua's frustrated with the case, and the courts, and doesn't understand why they keep ruling the search was illegal. She believes the dogs needed to be taken from Christensen's property.
"The dogs had a lot, a lot of health problems. They had parasites coming out the backside, lots of other health issues. There was bladder issues. There were all those things that probably could have been prevented had they been given the proper care initially," Jaqua said.
But a judge ruled the seizure itself was illegal. And while Second Chance had argued state laws allow shelters to take dogs out of extreme conditions without a warrant, the judge said the shelter failed to provide evidence for keeping the dogs.
That opened the door for Jaqua and other foster parents to buy their dogs from Christensen last month.
"When we were finally able to purchase our foster dog, Levon, I was jubilant because it was an end to my problems and his problems. Now he's permanently homed and nobody can take him away from us," Jaqua said.
It's some stability for her dog, but she knows this latest ruling leaves Second Chance and the case against Christensen in limbo.
"And their out that money and the recent court decision just kind of finalized that, and I don't know what their next steps will be. I hope they can come up with some, I really do," Jaqua said.
Second Chance Executive Director Rosie Quinn says she still isn't aware about what this decision means. Dan Christensen says the denial of the appeal is a 'big relief.'
© 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.