** UPDATE ** Smith v. SPCA

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

A judicial gag order has been issued on all parties concerned in the case of litigation of John “Jake” and Nancy Smith (plaintiffs) against Delaware Animal Care and Control, filed in Delaware Superior Court over possible illegal impoundment of their dog, “Millie” under guise of authority.

Attorney John Brady, representing the Smiths contends that the 1981 state statute that excluded Sheriffs and Sheriff’s Deputies from certification as police offices by the Delaware Council on Police Training also did not include animal control officers as police officers. The litigation essentially argues that only sworn and certified police officers can legally execute arrest and search and seizure warrants under the present Delaware Code, Title 11, Chapter 19.

Both Kent and Sussex Counties have contracted animal control services with the First State Animal Center and SPCA (formerly known as the Kent County SPCA). The KCAC/SPCA and DEACC are nongovernmental private tax-exempt organizations. This potentially raises other legal issues, as tax exempt organizations are generally conditionally bound to accord themselves within the boundaries of law and public policy. Delaware Animal Care and Control and the First State Animal Center and SPCA are headquartered at 32 Shelter Circle, Camden, DE 19934.

John Brady has also filed action in Superior Court for a stay on JP Court issuance of search and seizure warrants by animal control officers.

The issue of excession of legal authority by animal control officers in Delaware was a lively topic of discussion on the Dan Gaffney Show on WXDE Delaware 105.9 FM, earlier this morning.

Attempts by the Smiths to obtain information on the health and well-being of their mixed Jack Russell terrier, “Millie”, including a visit by their veterinarian were refused by animal shelter staff


Further discussion is also available, at : http://delaware1059.com/blog/post.php?postid=524

A relevant News Journal article is available at:


7 thoughts on “** UPDATE ** Smith v. SPCA”

  1. I can personally attest to the fact that Jake and Nancy Smith’s dog is not dangerous.
    While running for office, going door-to-door, I stopped by Smith’s house which is located within the 20th Representative District and was greeted by Jake himself along with his Terrier Millie. This dog is extremely friendly and was wagging her tail and licking me as I petted her. This occurred about Sept. of 2014 and I’m willing to attest to that in court.
    Jake and I are certainly not the best of friends but when people’s rights are being illegally violated, it angers me greatly.

  2. Let’s think about this, Don. You reason that because Millie displayed friendly behavior toward you is evidence that Millie poses no danger to others? An alternative explanation is that Millie’s “friendly” behavior was really her being selectively submissive to you. She could have viewed you as a pack leader. Toward other, she’s dominant, aggressive and–yes–dangerous.

    Just a thought. In any event, I think it a tad premature to add “pack leader” to your résumé just yet–as tempting that might be to you.

  3. Honi Soit, a list of maybes.

    But your list is incomplete.

    Maybe Millie is a space alien from another galaxy.

    Maybe….. or Maybe not.

  4. Honi Soit
    I have to ask about that last comment, What the Hell is wrong with you?????

  5. The major issue at hand is the constitutionality of de facto delegation of (sovereign) police powers to persons and private organizations without adequate training, certification and accountability , in the absense of an appropriate statutory framework.

  6. There was a guy convicted of burglary for breaking into a neighbor’s house.

    Naturally, I testified on his behalf since he had not broken into my house or any my other neighbor’s houses.

    The fact that a dog did not bite Don is not at all relevant, unless perhaps Don is also a Yorkshire Terrier. But I doubt it, even though he does seem to enjoy chasing his own tail.

  7. On further review, it is clear what happened.

    The dog was fine until after it licked Don.

    Does anyone know if Don has all his shots?

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