Update on animal cruelty case

Many people from Minneapolis and beyond have been asking Minneapolis Animal Care and Control about the black poodle/Schnauzer mix puppy that was brought to the shelter after his owner allegedly attempted to ship him cross-country through the U.S. Postal Service. Minneapolis Animal Care and Control has been caring for the dog since Jan. 25.

The dog’s owner, Stacey Champion, has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. Champion has also filed an appeal to have the dog returned to her. Minnesota State statute provides for an appeal hearing for an individual whose animal has been impounded due to an animal cruelty investigation. This is a City appeals process that deals with the care and custody of the animal, and is not part of the criminal court case. State law requires that the hearing be held within five days of the request.

The puppy will stay at the Minneapolis Animal Care & Control shelter while that hearing is pending. At the hearing, the hearing officer will make a determination about whether the dog can be returned to the owner. If the hearing officer decides not to return the animal to the owner prior to the court date for the separate criminal charge, the owner would then need to either appeal the case or post a bond that would cover the continued cost of care and kenneling of the dog at the shelter between now and the date of the criminal court case. If the owner does not post a bond, Animal Care & Control could make the dog available for adoption.

While Minneapolis’ adoption policy is a general first-come first-served policy, the process involves a basic screening of potential owners to ensure that the owner and adopted animal are an appropriate fit for each other. If more than one person is interested and present at the Animal Care & Control shelter at the time the animal is made available for adoption, a drawing of all interested parties would occur.

Published Feb. 4, 2011