Private Investigators In Virginia

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Posts Tagged ‘animal law’

More Horse Cruelty In Florida

Posted by Bill on March 5, 2008

horse.jpg  A few posts back, Click Here, we mentioned horse cruelty cases happening in Virginia. Horse cruelty is not unique to the Commonwealth. Florida Animal Law reports of an incident in Florida. The reason for the horse’s condition, according to the article, the high prices of feed, hay and gas.

See original article Sun-Sentinel news story

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc., McLean, VA


Posted in animal law, Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Horse Cruelty In Virginia–Continued

Posted by Bill on February 12, 2008

horse1.jpg  Loudoun County, VA:

Trainer Indicted After Malnourished Horses Seized

Washington Post Story

Follow up to

Prior Post Horses Virginia

A Loudoun County grand jury indicted horse trainer Dennis B. Danley yesterday on 48 counts of animal cruelty, a Class I misdemeanor, Commonwealth’s Attorney James E. Plowman said.

He faces up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine on each count. The charges were brought in connection with the seizure of four dozen thoroughbreds by Loudoun County officials Jan. 22 from a Middleburg area farm. The animals were found to be severely malnourished and without drinking water.

Danley said last night that he stopped working on the farm in November, owned no horses and is not responsible for their condition.

Oh well, the usual animal cruelty in Virginia.  At least there are legal proceedings in existence.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in crime, cuelty, Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Another Horse Cruelty Event In Virginia

Posted by Bill on January 31, 2008

horse1.jpg  A Loudoun County judge ruled yesterday that 48 horses had been cruelly treated by individuals at a Middleburg farm, and he signed court orders turning over custody of the horses to the county.  This is another example of the expanding area of animal law, and the need for qualified animal law private investigators.  Most animal cruelty cases are criminal prosecutions, but there are many civil implications that law enforcement or animal control officers will not investigate.  Virginia law provides that owners must give adequate food, water, shelter space, exercise, care, treatment and veterinary.  These issues are highly factual in nature and the facts in every case will be different.  Investigators have to conduct a logical and thorough investigation to uncover the necessary facts to prove all the elements of a crime or civil proceeding.  The Commonwealth Attorney’s office should pursue animal abuse cases, and make sure that proper penalties are considered if a person is convicted.  Too often, charges are compromised, and defendants are not appropriately punished.   See Prior Horse Posts

The Washington Post reported: 

“A Loudoun County judge ruled yesterday that 48 horses seized by county officials last week were “cruelly treated,” and he awarded custody of the thoroughbreds to the county.  General District Court Judge J. Frank Buttery Jr. signed an order giving custody of the horses to Loudoun County Animal Care and Control and ordered their owners to reimburse the county for food and medical costs incurred since the seizure, almost $8,000 so far. Dennis Danley, Donald Cutshaw and Pablo Cosme were named as owners. “Clearly the commonwealth has proved in this case that the animals . . . were cruelly treated,” Buttery said, after reviewing photos of the horses and conditions on the area farm where they were seized.  “Certainly not enough food or even water was provided for them.”

Under Buttery’s order, Danley is prohibited from owning agricultural animals in because of a prior conviction. Cosme and Cutshaw cannot own agricultural animals in the state for two years. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Faw said criminal charges are pending.  See Washington Post Story Here

In addition, a prior Post story reported that last year “Dennis B. Danley, 55, a horse trainer from Charles Town, WV, was charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty in after authorities, according to news accounts, found 10 mares with exposed rib cages and spines among 60 horses at a farm south of Charles Town.  Danley pleaded no contest to one count of animal cruelty in August.  He was fined, received a 90-day suspended jail sentence and a year of probation, and agreed to give up ownership of horses for five years, said his attorney in the case, Harley O. Wagner.  Under the deal, Danley was allowed to continue training horses, Wagner said.”  See Story Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in animal law, attorneys, crime, cuelty, Investigations, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, surveillance | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Animal Law In Virginia–Update

Posted by Bill on January 17, 2008

cat-dog.jpg  dogfight.jpg  cockfight.jpg  The Richmond Times has the latest update on the efforts in the Virginia General Assembly to pass changes in Virginia’s animal law.   The primary change would increase penalties for animal fighting and include cock fighting as a crime.  Under the present law, people caught attending a dog fight or cock fight are not “breaking the law.”  New legislation will change that.  Click Here to read story You can see yesterday’s news conference here also.

  Summary of the legislation:

The legislation also deals with the care of any seized animals and provides law-enforcement officials with more effective tools to fight the problem. In addition to charging spectators: Cockfighting would become a felony. Under current law, it’s illegal only if gambling is involved. All forms of animal fighting would be illegal and considered a felony. Searches regarding animal-cruelty cases could be conducted after sunset without more authorization. Now, a search warrant expires at sundown, and a new one must be obtained before officers can step onto the property in question. Seized animals won’t be held for years without a resolution to the case. Oftentimes, the animals are kept in cages, which add to their detriment. Bond would have to be posted if an owner contests the forfeiture of fighting animals.

Enforcement of Virginia’s animal laws is increasing.  This is a future investigative field for astute private investigators. 

Bill Lowrance

Animal law investigator

President PIAVA

president at

Posted in animal law, attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Animal Law In Virginia

Posted by Bill on January 15, 2008

cat-dog.jpg  As I mentioned before, animal law is a ripe spcialized investigative field for the future in Virginia, Click here for prior posts Horses in VirginiaShotgunned Puppy, Vick’s Dogs, Cruelty.

Now, this is supported by the Virginia legislators in a Washington Post article today, Click  Post Article.  Virginia’s General Assembly is considering more animal protection lawsw than in past years.  Tomorrow, legislators and Attorney General Robert McDonnell will be in a news conference with the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, to talk about how important the new proposed laws are.  Be sure to see that. 

Not only that but a bill has been offered to make it a felony to steal a cat–the same penalty for dogs.  Somewhere in the past cats were left out of the stealing animal laws, only dogs were included.  See story Pilot Online  Specifically, the new law would amend VA Code section 18.2-97, Larceny of certain animals and poultry.  So, any person who steals a dog, cat, horse, pony, mule, cow, steer, bull or calf shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony–that is 1 to 10 years or up to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $2500 fine. 

I say study up on animal law and hone your investigative skills and chant “We don’t want no more catnappings in Virginia!”

Bill Lowrance

Animal law investigator extraordinaire

President PIAVA

president at piava dot org

Posted in animal law, attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Animal Law–Horses In Virginia

Posted by Bill on January 10, 2008

horse.jpg  I’ve advocated before that animal law will be a future investigative field.  Read this story about horses and animal abuse and remember Virginia is horse country Click Here & Here & Here.  The Virginia animal cruelty law is VA Code Animal Cruelty

Wall Street Journal

Horse Neglect Cases Rise 

Across the U.S., the number of horses whose owners won’t or can’t properly care for them is mushrooming. Spurred by retiring baby boomers and their penchant for second homes in the country, horse ownership boomed in the U.S. over the past decade. Americans own more than nine million horses today, up from just over six million horses in the mid-1990s, according to the American Horse Council, a trade association.

Along with the boom came backyard breeding, as owners without the discipline or financial muscle to obtain award-winning genes settled for whatever nature produced. More than two million Americans own horses, and more than a third of those owners have a household income of less than $50,000. As the horse population soared — and the economy ceased to gallop — selling the animals became more difficult. Some owners could no longer afford their investment.  Click to continue story

Remember animal law and the future.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Posted in animal law, attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Shotgunned Puppy?

Posted by Bill on December 13, 2007

A small story in the Charlotte Observer, Story, of a Bessemer City, NC, man that was arrested after he shot his neighbor’s 3 month old puppy.  This guy was charged with cruelty to animals and discharging a firearm in the city limits for using a 12 gauge shotgun on the puppy.  This was according to Gaston County Police Sgt. Cliff Lowrance (no relation).

As you may note, I like puppys and dogs.  In a prior post I wrote about how the relative new legal speciality of animal law is developing in the U.S., and that this is a field that more private investigators should learn about.  In Virginia if someone shotgunned your puppy or other pet, your recovery in money is limited to the cost of the animal.  Assuming you sued the culprit for deliberately killing your pet, Virginia law does not recognize your pets as anything but a piece of personal property.  So, if you were emotionally devastated by the killing of your pet, you would be compensated for the cost of your animal.  This law needs to change in Virginia.  Many other states have changed their laws and now recognize personal pets as more valuable than the cost to obtain the pet.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Posted in animal law, attorneys, crime, cuelty, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Vick’s Dogs

Posted by Bill on December 6, 2007

As a follow up to the previous post about animal law and suspended NFL star Michael Vick, it is reported today that the U.S. Attorney filed a motion with the court requesting that the 47 animals seized from Vick be placed with rescue organizations.  Rebecca J. Huss, animal law expert from Vallparaiso University School of Law, Rhuss gave her completed summary report to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia on Tuesday.  See story Chronicle Telegram.

Bill Lowrance
President PIAVA

Posted in animal law, attorneys, cuelty, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wednesday’s Wanton Witness–Cruelty

Posted by Bill on December 5, 2007

Wanton— maliciously or unjustifiably: a wanton attack; wanton cruelty. See Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. Dictionary  

 Antonym:  Gentle, Kind, Nice

Okay, you can tell by the Title of this post that I am agitated.  One of my favorite blogs is Florida   A recent post caught my eye.  The title was “Owner jailed after puppy dangled, kicked.”  According to an article in the St. Petersburg Times, Article, an arrest report was filed by law enforcement alleging that a “guy” dangled a black puppy by a leash and brutally kicked the pup several times.  This went on for about four minutes before a deputy sheriff confronted the “guy” interrupting his cruel act.  When arrested for felony animal cruelty, the “guy” reportedly said “It was his dog and he could do whatever he wanted and he did it because the dog ran away.”  Gee, I wonder why the dog ran away?  The guy’s action was definitely “wanton,” and certainly not gentle, kind or nice.  Considering past posts, you may ask “What does this story have to do with investigations, PIAVA or anything?” 

Well, one of the purposes of PIAVA’s Blog is to maintain Virginia’s investigators position, especially PIAVA members, in front of the leading edge of the modern, sophisticated investigation industry.  Lately, stories, crimes and prosecutions of animal cruelty cases have made front page news.  In Virginia, Michael Vick (you know) plead guilty in federal court to “dog fighting” charges.  See Article.  Of course, at that time, Vick humbled himself and apologized saying that “Dogfighting . . . is a terrible thing.”  Not to be outdone by federal law enforcement, Virginia charged Vick with two state charges — beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs, and engaging in or promoting dogfighting—punishable by up to five years in prison each.  Trial is scheduled April 2, 2008, see Article.


Animal Law


In almost the next post Florida referenced an article I read some time ago entitled “New Pastures for Animal-Rights Lawyers.”  See Article.  That’s right, folks, a burgeoning field of law is “Animal Law” and that means “leading edge” investigators need to “bone” up on animal laws in their respective jurisdictions–civil and criminal aspects.  Virginia has a lot of statues on all aspects of animals in Virginia, from pets (companion animals) to cattle and horses.  For example, did you know that in Virginia fox hunters and coon hunters may follow their hunting dogs on to prohibited land without being charged with trespass?  Also, hunters of all other game, when the chase begins on other lands, may go upon prohibited lands to retrieve their dogs, but may not carry firearms or bows and arrows on their persons or hunt any game while thereon–no trespass charges.  Va. Code section 18.2-136 Code 18.2-136.


This post is too long.  So, I will wrap it up.  But, look out for the burgeoning opportunities for animal law investigators.


Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA



Posted in animal law, attorneys, cuelty, Investigations, law enforcement, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »