NY Co.Ct.: Animal in “distress” justified entry into side yard from which marijuana plant could be seen in back yard

911 received an animal control call, and the officer went to defendant’s house and in the side yard were dogs that had no water but food and the yard was full of dog feces. The dogs were barking and acted like they required the water when it was provided. One dog had wrapped his chain around a pole and couldn’t reach water or food. From that vantage point, the officer could see marijuana plants in defendant’s back yard. The view from the side yard where the dogs were was legitmate and based on the situation the dogs were in. The court notes other cases that grant police authority to enter yards to check on animals in apparent distress. [But just how in distress were these? It’s not all that apparent. Some, yes. Is “just some” enough?] People v. Juliano, 2016 NY Slip Op 26389, 2016 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4363 (Wayne Co. Ct. Oct. 12, 2016).

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