BCS Mediation Blog

Mediation News and Comment

Man Loses Pet Pigeons to Euthanasia: Could This Have Been Avoided With Mediation?

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional

Balancing concerns to the public and animal safety can be tricky, as a homeless man learned when authorities seized his pet pigeons, a seagull and a crow. The birds had food and water but many were otherwise in bad condition when animal control seized them. The man claimed he had been nursing the sick pigeons back to health. Even though the birds were seized for their own well-being, a veterinarian decided they were a public risk and euthanized them, before the man could request a hearing. If all parties had been able to participate in a process where different interests could have been represented, this may have resulted in a better outcome for the birds and the birds’ owner.

More Information, Better Decisions

The death or suffering of animals is not inevitable — even for public safety reasons. If you are an animal owner or a concerned member of the public there are ways you can mediate an animal dispute without harming the animals involved. Decision-makers in public authorities can sometimes operate on limited information. Because mediation is inclusive of all parties, more information can be introduced to make better decisions about animal welfare and to take the pressure off decision-makers. At Boileau Conflict Solutions we use approaches like game theory to help people resolve differing interests. A unique factor in this approach is that we account for the animal’s interests too, which allows us to resolve the dispute more effectively than if the animal is considered as merely the legal property of one party. Once parties can agree that they are working for the best interests of the animal there may be more opportunity for reconciliation and change. Also once the animal’s interest is established, mediation may then include concerned groups external to the conflict – such as animal charities or shelters. This can lead to creative solutions for re-homing, training or funding.

Avoiding Costly and Protracted Disputes

Because the law considers animals to be the property of humans, conflict over self-interest is often the starting point for many animal disputes. Litigating animal disputes can also be costly and time consuming for the public and individuals. The dispute over the man’s pigeons led to two court cases: one lower court case, and an appeal by the homeless man, claiming his 4th amendment rights were violated by the seizure of the pigeons. Before turning to animal control and surrendering the dispute to an arbitrary process, it may be worth considering mediation. Whether you’re a concerned member of a public, or an owner whose animals are in danger of being reported or euthanized, it may serve you and your animals to invite discussion of better alternatives.

How We Can Help

At Boileau Conflict Solutions we are a group of caring and well-educated mediators and negotiators with financial, legal and psychological backgrounds. We maintain that animals are important stakeholders in our culture and should be represented fairly in conflict. Therefore, the first step to successfully mediating a dispute involving animals is recognizing that animals have legitimate life interests. By considering the best interests of animals, parties don’t have to remain locked in intractable positions with animals as property or collateral. Animal Rights mediation solves a huge range of disputes but also future-proofs disputes by coming to good agreements that pave the way for positive change in animal treatment. We mediate disputes involving domestic and wild animals. We handle disputes using a set of unique approaches informed by game theory, communication theory, psychoanalysis and the law. Key to our approach is recognizing all interests involved in a dispute and moving towards a sustainable solution that respects all life interests. We are available seven days a week and at urgent notice at our offices in Boulder, CO, Irvine, CA, Campbell, CA and LA. We can also be reached via Zoom, Facetime and Telephone and conflict resolution can also be arranged remotely. Please contact us now to see how we can help.

More info on this story: http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article210261849.html

Leave a Reply