The Chihuahua Case

If you have been following my representation of Ken Lang, who was found to be living with 109 live Chihuahuas and another 150 or so dead ones stored in a freezer in the basement, he was charged with two counts of animal cruelty. Each of these counts are punishable by up to four years in prison and can be served consecutively rather than concurrently.
Last Friday, the preliminary exam was scheduled however, petitions were advanced by both the prosecution and myself asking the court to order an evaluation to determine whether Mr. Lang was competent to stand trial and whether he was criminally responsible for his conduct. Another hearing is now scheduled for December 4, 2009 to review the findings of this evaluation.

From the very beginning, I have insisted that this is not just a dog case but rather a human case of a person suffering from severe OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, that was manifested in both material hoarding and animal hoarding. To that end, I maintain, that while we cannot allow this to happen again, putting Mr. Lang in jail seems inappropriate. Mr. Lang has a disease, which like diabetes needs treatment not punishment.

What is appropriate I think, is making sure that Mr. Lang is monitored, that he receive therapy and counseling, and that he is never allowed to have a pet unless we are assured that this situation will not be repeated.