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Old 02.09.2011, 18:37
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Can your dog be removed by animal services?

Recently i had the police come to my house and say they had reports that my puppybwas being neglected and had no access to water (rubbish!). They said that the neighbours said they havent seen him go out enough and thought he was being mistreated.

Being a shar pei he cant go out in the excessive heat that we had recently. The police asked for a letter from the vet confirming that his breed is heat intolerant. The landlady has said that the police have opened a case against me and if they call animal services he can be removed from and i woulsnt be able to stop them. Is this true?? I think it is possibly the landlady who reported me out of malice and dont know what the law is. Based on this incident im looking to move back to uk rather than take the risk of something happening to my pup, which leaves me liable for rent as thr landlady has tied me into a fixed one year lease.

Would really apreciate any advice!
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Old 02.09.2011, 18:41
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

Yes, it is true. Switzerland has draconian animal protection laws and once they have you in their sights you certainly have something to be concerned about. This is not something to shrug off lightly. A newspaper article recently stated that most cases were started not by people who were concerned about an animal's welfare but just by malicious neighbours. One idea would be to look to move as soon as possible to a more dog friendly environment.
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Old 02.09.2011, 18:54
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

It's basically one of the joys that goes with living in such a great country. Cats, dogs, fixing your car in the street & many other pleasures that you took for granted, will cause loads of issues.

Welcome to CH
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Old 02.09.2011, 18:55
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

Police came last night

Re: Police came last night
I have told this story before, so sorry if you get a repeat!

My ex wife lived in a smart suburb of Bern, on the ground floor including a walled garden with five cats.

A next door neighbour could see into her garden and went to the police & accused her of maltreating her 5 cats. (Totally unimaginable, the kids and the husband, but never the cats!)

The Cantonal vet called round unexpectedly and asked to come in. She refused and told him to come back with the police. They came back after a few days and asked to come in. She again refused and demanded a court order. (Now you can begin to understand why she is my ex-wife)

They came back again with the paperwork. The vet quickly checked all the cats and they all left.

Later the neighbour was prosecuted for wasting police time and had to pay the ex-wife CHF 300 compensation.

The real reason was probably that the 5 cats were crapping in his garden, but to complain to her about this probably never crossed his mind.
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Old 02.09.2011, 19:02
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

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Police came last night

Re: Police came last night
I have told this story before, so sorry if you get a repeat!

My ex wife lived in a smart suburb of Bern, on the ground floor including a walled garden with five cats.

A next door neighbour could see into her garden and went to the police & accused her of maltreating her 5 cats. (Totally unimaginable, the kids and the husband, but never the cats!)

The Cantonal vet called round unexpectedly and asked to come in. She refused and told him to come back with the police. They came back after a few days and asked to come in. She again refused and demanded a court order. (Now you can begin to understand why she is my ex-wife)

They came back again with the paperwork. The vet quickly checked all the cats and they all left.

Later the neighbour was prosecuted for wasting police time and had to pay the ex-wife CHF 300 compensation.

The real reason was probably that the 5 cats were crapping in his garden, but to complain to her about this probably never crossed his mind.
My Ex with loads of cats had the same issue, she fell out with the women from the animal protection agency who used to feed her cats whilst on holiday. She still has 4 cats all over 15 years, the older ones died between 17 & 19.
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Old 02.09.2011, 19:14
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

I once reported someone who was really mistreating his dog. The dog was never let out, the place was full of his excrements, his claws had got very long from lack of exercise, etc.

People from the SPA came with the police, took pictures of everything, and left with the dog.
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Old 02.09.2011, 19:38
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

You need to take this very seriously. You need to get legal representation asap.

Unfortunately, the onus is on you to prove that your dog is not mistreated, once an allegation is made.

Yes, they can take your dog - but they first must have a legal order to do so. Do not hand your dog over without first speaking to a lawyer, and do not sign anything without having a lawyer review it first. Do not let them intimidate you, stand your ground until you have legal advice.

You need to start gathering evidence that you are a good owner.

Start with your vet - get him involved to provide evidence that your dog is well cared for. If you know him well, get him to vouch for your character.

Call in your trainer, if you have one. That you have taken your dog to classes, (have you done the SKN?) can show that you are a good owner.

Do you have a dog sitter, or have you taken your dog to kennels? If so, get letters attesting to your dog's welfare.

Trainers, dogsitters, kennel staff are considered mandatory reporters - they would be good support.

Have people who know you and your dog write letters of support. Especially helpful would be testimony from people you regularly meet out walking.

You need to prove that your dog is getting enough exercise - think of how you can prove that you have done so. If you were not taking him out because of the heat, show how you provided him with mental stimulation during that time, show how you kept him occupied, etc.

In the future, keep as much video evidence of how you care for your dog as possible. Even take a camera out with you on walks, so that you have time/date stamped evidence that you are providing the exercise he needs.

---

As Snoopy says, most of the people who make these allegations do so out of malice, usually because they want the animal gone from the building, or because they know how much you love your dog and they know that this is the best way to hurt you. It never ceases to amaze me just how vicious people here can be.

If you think the allegations were made maliciously, again get legal help and go on the counter-attack.

Fingers crossed, thumbs pressed that everything works out. Please keep us updated.
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Old 02.09.2011, 19:53
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

Why not take your dog out very early in the morning or in the evening- when weather cools down. Where has your dog been doing its 'business' during the heat wave? Are you at home with the dog for the day or part of the day? So difficult to comment without knowing all the circumstances- but yes, if the authorities confirm that your dog is not kept in suitable condition, and if you do not register the dog and do the 'dog' exam', they can indeed take your dog away. Hopefully you will be able to prove that you have taken very good care of him, and in Ittigen's ex case, will apologise.
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Old 02.09.2011, 20:28
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

My neighbors called the police + tierschutz on me in my first flat, making very similar complaints. I was shocked and horrified when they showed up, and I was ready for a fight, too!!! People who love their pets don't let ANYONE get in the way, so I can imagine the mistrust you must be feeling for your neighbors, for the police, for Switzerland right now. You're perfectly justified in your feelings.

When it happened to me, I went and talked to one of my neighbors afterwards. He explained to me some things about how the Swiss perceived how animals should be cared for. E.g. someone home all the time. Frequent walks of 20-30 minutes each, never any noise from the house, etc etc etc. So when the neighbors don't see you meeting their expectations they get concerned "for the animal's well-being". We could debate what that means all day.

But what it boils down to for YOU is this. What did the police say and do when they came to see you? Reflect on that conversation and their interview with you. They are objectively following up on a complaint; they are not accusing you of anything. So just because they show up on your door does not mean you are guilty of any wrong doing (It may feel that way because you don't know the rules and your neighbors are the fracking Gestapo though). So you go to the vet, get them to certify that the breed is heat intollerant (and this is a well known fact for shar-peis) and have an honest discussion of how you were caring for the dog during the heat wave, etc. Hopefully the vet will certify for you that the animal is not mistreated. Just the fact that you are involving a vet should be evidence enough. Mistreated animals usually will never see a vet.

Nevertheless, I am with you. No life in Switzerland is worth splitting up the family.
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Old 02.09.2011, 20:49
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

thank you so much for all your advice. the pup really suffers in heat, he has severe breathing difficulties at night and has to have a cold bath and a fan on him. he is a short nosed breed which is why he has problems. we live in a single house with a fairly big garden so he goes out every day and i play games with him in the house so he gets exercise and stimulation.

also having taken him out recently and being told to 'go back to my own country' wasnt overly endearing!

the vet has written a letter for the police and confirmed that as he is a shar pei he cant go out in the heat, and that he has access to a garden to go outside.

when the police came, they asked if he goes out regularly, and i told them yes but not in the heat. they didnt think the heat was a good reason and asked me to get a vets letter. also his breed is susceptible to genetic health issues, and we have just had him tested for liver and kidney problems, which wouldve been exasperated in the heat due to the stress. the vet has also confirmed the breed health issues. i also asked them to look at his back legs which were swollen, and told them i wasnt going to take him out to satisfy them, risking his health, until i got his blood test results back.

i also gave the police a copy of a shar pei book highlighting the heat problem, and that he was fine with garden exercise during this time.

i brought my mum over specifically to care for him, so he is never or very rarely, at home during the day alone.

he has been sick since he was a v young pup due to breeding issues, so i take his well being incredibly seriously. his vet in london could happily attest to how much i care about him and i have even been contacting her for treatment advice remotely. its not even that hes just a pet, hes everything to me, so the thought that he could be taken scared the hell out me. i was going to send him back to uk with my mum but cos of his rabies blood test he cant return until 1st jan.

i am looking for a trainer at the mo - so i will get a letter as soon ive started the SKN course.

definitely think its the landlady - she came back from holiday and said the puppy looked bored and needed to go for a walk - she offered her 13 year old son, which i politely declined because the pup would be taking him for a walk as he is an incredibly strong pup. next thing i know, the police are at the door, and she is offering her services to 'resolve the issue' also saying she wanted a copy of the letter from the vet.

thanks everyone for your advice, i will def look t getting legal representation asap.

the police have said they will now write to me,
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Old 02.09.2011, 23:30
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

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definitely think its the landlady - she came back from holiday and said the puppy looked bored and needed to go for a walk - she offered her 13 year old son, which i politely declined because the pup would be taking him for a walk as he is an incredibly strong pup. next thing i know, the police are at the door, and she is offering her services to 'resolve the issue' also saying she wanted a copy of the letter from the vet.


the police have said they will now write to me,

What a bitch! Stay away from her!
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Old 02.09.2011, 23:51
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

If you are still in contact with your UK vet have him/her send a letter also, that way you will have more proof! And yes stay far far away from the landlady!!!
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Old 03.09.2011, 10:21
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

Several years ago, I received an unsolicited visit from an SPA Inspector, as a result of a complaint made by my pain in the aris neighbour, himself a dog-owner. After my two little "monsters" had licked the Inspector from head to toe, he commented "yet another histoire de voisins"! I heard nothing more from the SPA. However, I did not let the matter rest there. The following Saturday evening when night had fallen (it was Feburary), I wrote the following message, in French, on an old single sheet I no longer had any use for "we would like to thank Mr and Mrs xyz for having denounced us to the SPA", which I then hung from my bedroom window for 24 hours, thus all our immediate neighbours were aware of the situation. The culprits went underground, and when they did finally dare show their faces, wrote a letter to all our fellow neighbours trying to justify their actions. However, I still had another card up my sleeve. I consulted our lawyer who wrote to the instigators promising them all sorts of legal repercusions if they ever made unfounded accusations about us in the future. The entente between us still remains far from cordiale!
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Old 03.09.2011, 13:33
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

I try to minimise contact with the landlady but she keeps turning up. ive been here just over 2 months and she has come over more than 10 times - and she was on holiday for a month!

she keeps making reasons to turn up even though we arent calling her for anything. thinking about it more, i think she has done this to get me to leave the house. she said that she spoke to the police on our behalf and they said that the SPA could come and take the pup without notice and i couldnt stop them when they turned up. she also said if that was likely she would 'advise' me to go back to the uk. she has suggested i send the pup back to london asap (which i cant do cos of the 6 month rabies rule) so she said to go back at the end of the year.

she said i will have to pay her rent until june next year as i have signed a one year fixed term contract. i think this is her way of getting rid of me and still getting her money. im here on a 6 month contract and was going to look for another role after, but she knows i wouldnt stay here without my pup.

does anyone know the legal aspects to it - if i can prove she is making this up to try and make me leave the property - would there be a way to get out of the lease?
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Old 03.09.2011, 13:39
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

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My ex wife lived in a smart suburb of Bern, on the ground floor including a walled garden with five cats.

A next door neighbour could see into her garden and went to the police & accused her of maltreating her 5 cats. (Totally unimaginable, the kids and the husband, but never the cats!)

The Cantonal vet called round unexpectedly and asked to come in. She refused and told him to come back with the police. They came back after a few days and asked to come in. She again refused and demanded a court order. (Now you can begin to understand why she is my ex-wife)

They came back again with the paperwork. The vet quickly checked all the cats and they all left.

Later the neighbour was prosecuted for wasting police time and had to pay the ex-wife CHF 300 compensation.

The real reason was probably that the 5 cats were crapping in his garden, but to complain to her about this probably never crossed his mind.
i like her style! is she still single?
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Old 03.09.2011, 14:32
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

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I try to minimise contact with the landlady but she keeps turning up. ive been here just over 2 months and she has come over more than 10 times - and she was on holiday for a month!

she keeps making reasons to turn up even though we arent calling her for anything. thinking about it more, i think she has done this to get me to leave the house. she said that she spoke to the police on our behalf and they said that the SPA could come and take the pup without notice and i couldnt stop them when they turned up. she also said if that was likely she would 'advise' me to go back to the uk. she has suggested i send the pup back to london asap (which i cant do cos of the 6 month rabies rule) so she said to go back at the end of the year.

she said i will have to pay her rent until june next year as i have signed a one year fixed term contract. i think this is her way of getting rid of me and still getting her money. im here on a 6 month contract and was going to look for another role after, but she knows i wouldnt stay here without my pup.

does anyone know the legal aspects to it - if i can prove she is making this up to try and make me leave the property - would there be a way to get out of the lease?
As meloncollie said, you should get legal advice soon. This landlady sounds like a conniving moo... Of course what you could do to frighten her is say that she shouldn't worry. If you have to leave earlier you will sublet it or find a follow on tenant...anything to let her know that you aren't going to be bullied into paying her for nothing. Anyway, if you have all the vet papers you have nothing to worry about, but it is important to nip these things in the bud or they develop a momentum of their own. Get a lawyer, get the papers you need to convince the SPA that your pooch is well looked after and put this thing to bed quickly. Don't wait for the next letter or visit. Do it now.
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Old 03.09.2011, 14:42
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

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I try to minimise contact with the landlady but she keeps turning up. ive been here just over 2 months and she has come over more than 10 times - and she was on holiday for a month!

she keeps making reasons to turn up even though we arent calling her for anything. thinking about it more, i think she has done this to get me to leave the house. she said that she spoke to the police on our behalf and they said that the SPA could come and take the pup without notice and i couldnt stop them when they turned up. she also said if that was likely she would 'advise' me to go back to the uk. she has suggested i send the pup back to london asap (which i cant do cos of the 6 month rabies rule) so she said to go back at the end of the year.

she said i will have to pay her rent until june next year as i have signed a one year fixed term contract. i think this is her way of getting rid of me and still getting her money. im here on a 6 month contract and was going to look for another role after, but she knows i wouldnt stay here without my pup.

does anyone know the legal aspects to it - if i can prove she is making this up to try and make me leave the property - would there be a way to get out of the lease?
You should join the Mieterverband , http://yellow.local.ch/en/q/?what=Mi...id=directories , this woman's actions are bordering on the illegal.
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Old 03.09.2011, 14:48
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?h

Thanka all, i am going to speak to someone today about legal advice for the situation. Just good to know with the right paperwork she cant do anything. From what she said, she had me convinced in switzerland it makes no difference if youre a good pet owner, 3 complaints and your dog is gone, no questions asked.

Will def heck out the Mieterverband
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Old 03.09.2011, 15:11
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

Your situation is not easy, and I can understand your desire to settle things in an amicable manner, especially as you have your dog to consider. However, She Who Snoops, has to be stopped in her tracks immediately. She is putting pressure on you in order that you vacate your appatment. Do not tolerate this bullying anymore. Stand up to her, and in no uncertain terms tell her to get on her bike and start peddling! My neighbour, mentioned in my post above, would have made my life hell had I allowed him to. I just did not, and will not, give into his demands. If he makes life difficult for me, he gets it back two-fold. It's the only way to deal with people who try to dominate others.
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Old 03.09.2011, 15:31
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Re: Can your dog be removed by animal services?

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Your situation is not easy, and I can understand your desire to settle things in an amicable manner, especially as you have your dog to consider. However, She Who Snoops, has to be stopped in her tracks immediately. She is putting pressure on you in order that you vacate your appatment. Do not tolerate this bullying anymore. Stand up to her, and in no uncertain terms tell her to get on her bike and start peddling! My neighbour, mentioned in my post above, would have made my life hell had I allowed him to. I just did not, and will not, give into his demands. If he makes life difficult for me, he gets it back two-fold. It's the only way to deal with people who try to dominate others.
Merrylegs, the fact that the snoop happens to be the landlady makes this a little more delicate I would think than if it was just a neighbour. Also, if I am reading the OP's posts right she is not in an apartment, but in a house. So, as far as being a dog owner is concerned she has really done everything right. But the landlady needs putting in her place...no doubt about that.
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