In a follow-up to CNNMoney’s exclusive investigation of government debt collection, Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken uncovered how government-funded animal control agencies are aggressively going after pet owners. Small violations, such as failing to license a dog or an animal getting loose from the yard, are resulting in fines that add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Those who can’t afford to pay face serious consequences. Some shelters impound the dogs until the owners settle their bill. If they can’t come up with the money in time, the dog gets killed. Others leave the dogs alone but issue arrest warrants for owners who can't pay up.