Give the 13 Dogs Back, Judge Says

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – A attorney-rancher won back 13 of her dogs after a federal judge ordered a Nevada county to return them pending a court decision on an ordinance limiting how many dogs she can have.
     U.S. District Judge Lloyd D. George on Friday enjoined Nye County from “destroying, harming or transferring” 13 dogs owned by Nancy Lord that were among those seized and being held by Nye County Animal Control.
     George also enjoined the county from seizing more of Lord’s dogs pending the outcome of her federal lawsuit against the county.
     Nancy Lord on Thursday filed a 51-page pro se complaint against Nye County, challenging the constitutionality of its ordinance limiting the number of dogs she can keep on her ranch.
     Lord claims that on Aug. 26, 2014 Nye County seized or helped others to seize 22 family dogs that live on her ranch.
     The county claims Lord violated a county ordinance limiting the number of dogs or cats older than 3 months to five at any residence or location.
     Lord says the county claimed it was holding the dogs as evidence of her ordinance violation, but Nye County Animal Control also wants her to turn her dogs over to the county.
     She said the county won’t let her visit her pets unless she lets it find new homes, and that forms the county wanted her to sign included a provision allowing the county to euthanize the dogs if new homes could not be found.
     Lord says she owns 40 dogs that stay on her ranch in Pahrump, and she believed the county would not enforce the ordinance or require her to license the dogs so long as she did not let them roam. But neighbors complained that the county was not doing its job by ignoring the dogs on Lord’s property, which led to the Aug. 26 roundup.
     Lord seeks declaratory judgment that the ordinance at issue is ultra vires, and that seizing her dogs violated the Fourth Amendment, the Eight Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, and the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment.
     She also wants her dogs back an injunction prohibiting the county from seizing her dogs again.

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