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Did animal control and the aurora police have the right to enter my home or was my 4th amendment right violated?

Denver, CO |

On Friday, two of the dogs I was sitting for a friend that was is currently on vacation escaped my house. Animial control was called and attempted to catch the dog. The dogs ran back into my back yard. When animal control knocked on the front door, the front door swung open (locked, but not latched properly). They called Aurora Police who entered my home and seized all animals, including my friend's pitbull-like looking dog because they were not registered, had no water (yes they did), had no food (food bag was right beside the bowls), and they claimed my house was covered in feces (no it was not and neighbors are confirming that floors were clean as far as they were able to see). They searched all drawers, cabinets, closets and my jewlery box.

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Most of the criminal attorney on this Avvo site here in Denver offer free initial consultations. So whether you call John Buckley, Rhidian Orr, myself or one of the many other excellent attorneys on this site, call around and try to find an attorney who is familiar with these constitutional issues and is the right "fit" for you.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.


On the facts you provided--dogs got out, police came in and searched jewlery boxes and closets--yes your rights were trampled by the government.

It would be informative to hear the police departments version of events. I suspect their reports will round out the facts a bit (timelines, reason for entry, basis for animal control contacting police). Contact a Denver area attorney who can review all the documents and determine what options you may have.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.


It does sound like you were subject to an unlawful search. You may want to talk to an attorney. However, keep in mind that the primary remedy for a 4th Amendment violation is the suppression of evidence obtained during the search. A significant civil action is much harder to pursue.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.



I am facing fines for the dogs that remained in the house. Can that help me?

Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Clark Harkess


Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to suppress some of the evidence obtained through the search which might require dismissal of some or all of those charges.

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