Alleged Animal Control Technique in Puerto Rico: Throwing Pets Off Bridge by the Dozens

An animal control company working for the government has been accused of a massacre of pets that included burning some alive or tossing live animals from a bridge for a 50 foot plunge. Animal Control Solutions, a government contractor, is accused of such killings of 80 dogs and cats seized from three housing projects in the town of Barceloneta. Some of the animals survived the 50 foot drop. The company is facing a lawsuit but the owner Julio Diaz, told reporters there is no proof agianst his company. “We have never thrown animals off any place.” However, police has said that evidence points at Animal Control Solutions.

The problem is civil litigation in such circumstances is that the animals were largely abandoned. There is a question of standing for a non-owner. Also, animals are treated legally as property and thus the damages tend to be low. Even a claim of emotional distress is difficult in such cases. Nuisance is an option or the use of statutes allowing for “private attorney general” actions: where citizens are allowed to act in the absence of government action. The best approach is usually criminal, for these reasons.

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