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View Full Version : Way OT, But Have to Vent...


jdee
07-12-2006, 12:23 AM
I'm sorry to bring unpleasant topics to the forum, but I just had to tell someone:

My husband, as newsdirector for the local radio station, goes to the city council meetings. He came home from the meeting last night with a bit of news that made my heart sink. He told me that they are considering passing an ordinance putting a limit on the number of pets one can own. This all stems from one man, who has become a nuisance. He doesn't live in the city, but he owns a house here, where he keeps thirty dogs. They live in horrible conditions, because he doesn't take care of them properly. The neighbors around where he keeps the dogs have complained numerous times about the odor, and the noise. He has been cited on more than one occasion, but has appealed to the county, and they are just dragging thier feet about the issue.

Now, because of this one man, who is doing wrong, they want to pass an ordinance on how many pets everyone can have? I think it's horrible. He's already disobeying the law, and would contiue to do so, no matter what the law is....so it's the responcible pet owners, and people who actually obey the law who will be penalized for his crime, and our happy, healthy cared for pets, who will pay the ultimate penalty...with thier lives.

Lets say, they pass a law that a person can have no more than 4 pets. Well what about the responsible pet owners, like myself, who already have more than that. We'd have to pick 4 and let the rest be taken. I think it's heartless, and cruel to impose that upon a person. We wouldn't have the luxury of finding them new homes, because the city will have limited the homes available to our pets. So what they would be making us do, is choose which ones get to live.

I don't remember if I've ever mentioned this here, but I have a soft spot in my heart for strays and feral cats, and am in the process of having the ones that live in our back yard spayed and neutered (with no help whatsoever from the city, I might add). I'm a full time homemaker, with no children, so I have plenty of time to spend outside with them, and talking to them, and offering them human companionship, while I work in the garden. They have really come a long way, and I'm so proud of them. A large number of them have become indoor/outdoor pets. Now I know that all of you here love your pets dearly, and will understand what I mean when I say that the bond you can develope with an animal that you've invested not just money, but time, and patience in, is very strong. Similar to that one would have with a child.

And it's not like I went out looking for cats to take home. They came to me. They show up here thin, hungry, and desparate. By the time we take them to the vet, have them treated for fleas and parasites, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, then we bring them home, nurture them, and watch them grow into healthy, happy, fat sassy little things...well you all are familiar with the satisfaction, that brings to ones very soul.

Well, I'm sorry to go on and on so much. My husband and I are going to fight it, but I'm so afraid they are going to pass this law, and there are going to be tons of happy, healthy animals put to death, because of this...and it just breaks my heart. Who are they to say how many cats I'm capable of caring for? Who are they to lump me, and all other caring, responcible pet owners like me, in the same catagory as this man? It's HIS crime, not ours.

Thanks for listening...if you made it this far (so sorry it's long)
Jennifer

brendajos
07-12-2006, 12:25 AM
Well maybe they can grandfather the current pet owners in? But what i want to know is why is nobody sending in the Humane Society or some similar no kill shelter?

If he is being cited then they should be able to take the dogs.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
07-12-2006, 12:50 AM
Don't forget, the pen is mightier than the sword. Contact the humane societies, the pet adoption groups, and the vetrinarians in your area. Surely they have the same concerns as you. Write a letter to the editor. Send out flyers, enlist people to help. Talk to the people at PetsMart. Elected officials get PAID with your tax dollars to listen to your opinions, and if enough people talk, they can't ignore you.

jdee
07-12-2006, 12:54 AM
I hope they do grandfather us in. Our local Human Association is a joke. It's little more than a society club. Our animal control office is under staffed, and I see no way they can actually enforce this, but it's just the idea that burns me up. I am going to send a letter to several Texas based organizations, and see what they say.

He was cited because of the odor and the noise. I have no idea why they didn't take the animal cruelty angle, unless we don't have that law. If that is true, that's the most disturbing part of this situations.

brendajos
07-12-2006, 01:07 AM
well if it is actually a Humane Society and not just an animal shelter or pound or whatever then contact the National Humane Society and inform them of that because their job is obviously to protect the animals.

Did they actually say they would put the animals to sleep if there wasn't a home for them because that is pretty shocking to me at this point since there are so many animal rights people in the world who would really raise a stink about that.

jdee
07-12-2006, 01:25 AM
They never said what would happen to the animals. I don't think they've thought that far ahead. They are simply looking for a quick solution to the problem this man has caused.

We live in a small town, and I'm sorry to say that the over all attitude toward animals is pretty archaic. It's improved from what it used to be, but still has so far to go. We do have our resposible people who care for thier pets, but so many still allow their pets to roam, unspayed/neutered. All you get when you call the humane association is an answering machine. All you can do is leave a message, and MAYBE they'll get back to you. I don't bother with our pound/animal control. I had a run-in with the heartless creep who works there. I already know I can't rely on them for help. It's just a mess.

We are going to try talking with our humane society, just because we need someone's help. Whether they're willing to get thier hands dirty remains to be seen.

I wish I knew how to get in touch with the animal rights groups. I'd send a letter to them all.

brendajos
07-12-2006, 01:56 AM
behold the power of google. just start looking online and you will find a wealth of groups that could likely help. just be careful. as much as you are passionate about saving your pets, there are some groups that use tactics that are generally bad.


Here's a good start though. http://www.hsus.org/

Jan in CA
07-12-2006, 02:17 AM
What is the guys name just out of curiousity? That doesn't seem fair at all!

XbelovedXoneX
07-12-2006, 07:16 AM
The county I live in has a limit on how many dogs you can own without a kenneling liscense. I think the main reason for this is because dog fighting has become a nasty problem in the surrounding area. I don't think this is a bad idea at all. If someone is really dedicated and loving to their pets, they shouldn't have a problem jumping through a few hoops which are designed to protect animals. Hopefully your city will develop something similar, and not so closed-minded as it seems they are suggesting.

Ladybug Lady
07-12-2006, 07:52 AM
It seems that the one practical way to avoiding this law, to which I am morally, ethically and legally opposed beyond words, is to get this man and his dogs under control.

Contact the ASPCA, tell them about the dogs AND the proposed legislation. Contact PITA, if they're not too radical for you. (To be honest, they're a bit over the top for me, but drastic times call for drastic measures.) I'd even go so far as to write to the ACLU, they may decide having multiple, well-cared for pets is a civil liberty. (I think it is!) Write letters to the editor of every local paper, and the larger city papers that aren't quite so local. Write every paper every day/week. Start a petition with your friends, family, church/temple/synagogue, SnB group, local vets and pet supply stores. Wear sackcloth and ashes and campout in front of the city municipal buildings. Climb the water tower and chain yourself to it.

Ok, my neo-hippie (over) activist side is showing. But my main point is to DO something. Do anything and everything you can. Even if I weren't an animal lover, I would be enraged at this attempt to uneccesarily limit personal freedoms. We're not talking about the old lady raising chickens and geese in her apartment complex public green, and the locals being afraid of disease from their droppings. We're talking about 1 man who is any combination of the following: cruel, lazy, mentally deficient, and possibly even mentally ill. Do what you can to solve the problem he has created, and I think (hope and pray) that the legislation will go away.


Enough said.

Wow, all that before breakfast!!!


Good luck and keep us posted.

jamiejeans
07-12-2006, 11:55 AM
I can see why this has come up in your town... even as an animal lover and mother of 3 (two cats and a dog, and always fighting the urge to get more) I wouldn't want to live next to animal filth. And it's not the animals fault when they live on those conditions, it's the human that is their owner.

I do think there should be rules within a town/city to animal ownership. For instance, houses with more than say 4 or 5 dogs should have to apply for kennel licensing. This way people can have as many dogs as they want but be under a license to keep them in proper conditions and be inspected periodically to make sure the dogs are healthy and their needs met.

It's harder to do this with cats, as cats are cleaner and easier to take care of. But the more cats one has, the more litter boxes, etc need to be maintained, and there are people out there that need "help" in being reminded of these things.

My question would be this: what about people who take in foster animals? For instance a mother cat or dog with their litter that all need homes but can't be at the shelter? Or a home that takes in "overflow" foster animals due to temporary space issues at the shelters? These people may have multiple animals coming and going in their homes that are well cared for but the numbers may be "illegal" depending on what laws and or ordinances are passed.

Growing up I had a neighbor who had three cats. None of them were spayed or neutered. So suddenly there were 4 more, and shortly after that there were another 4. Before we knew it, it was a recreation of Gremlins over there, and cats and kittens were everywhere. This family wold even discover weeks old litters in their basement that they didn't even realize exsisted! And none of these cats were well cared for. They had mites, were mangy, and generally sick looking. Some of them ran away, presumably looking for greener pastures.

It got so bad that the stink was penetrating the block. You couldn't even sit outside in your own yard in the summer because it was so foul. My brother and I were friends with one of the kids that lived there, and he was infested with fleas. He even infested our house with the fleas, which of course found their way to our cats. Our two cats had fleas so bad that they ended up with worms, and it was difficult to keep on top of the treatment.

And then one day, the cats were gone. Someone made a complaint to the health department and animal control. I am sure that they were probably all put down. Which could have been prevented had there been some sort of restriction or ordinance in place to keep irresponsible people from animal ownership.

Phew... well.... glad I got that off my chest! Anyhow, I hope you pursue what you feel is right in your situation, keeping in mind that there are people who are not responsible like yourself who own animals.

Ladybug Lady
07-12-2006, 12:21 PM
I do think there should be rules within a town/city to animal ownership. For instance, houses with more than say 4 or 5 dogs should have to apply for kennel licensing. This way people can have as many dogs as they want but be under a license to keep them in proper conditions and be inspected periodically to make sure the dogs are healthy and their needs met.

Great idea! Maybe you could suggest that at the meeting? Have the legislation written that owners of X number of adult animals or more than X number of litters of young animals should have to apply for a kennel license. This should be for cats AND dogs. Then inspections and the health department could weed out situations such as the one in your community. And that strange lady down the street with 14 cats, but all well taken care of, can keep right on being strange, with her license to do so. :)

jdee
07-12-2006, 02:21 PM
I know what you are saying is true. Some people do not take care of thier pets, but it seems to me that she didn't take care of the three she had any better than the many she ended up with. So to me, that law would do nothing to change the people who don't care for thier pets properly. And it's hard to find homes for animals as it is. I know, because I've found homes for some of my strays, but it was not easy. It would be even harder if the homes available were limited even further.

I just think it's wrong to make law abiding people pay for what this man has done. If they take all of his dogs, except..say..about three. Those dogs will still live in squalid conditions, they'd still reproduce, they'd still make noise....because he doesn't take care of them.

I think they should create, or beef up whatever cruelty, or neglect laws we have. At least try before imposing these restrictions on us.

Yes, I'd hate living next to this man, and I'd want something done, but they HAVE. He's been cited, and warned, and finally appealed. He will do the same thing with this law.

I just don't want them to take my cats. I'm doing all I can to make a happy, healthy life for them. Some I've nursed back from the brink of death...with NO help from the city. NONE! There have been times when I've gone without things I really wanted, because one of the cats needed to see a vet, or needed something. (don't misunderstand, I have all my needs met, speaking strictly about extras) Then for them to come up with a law that would enable them to take them away. Well it's just cruel.

07-12-2006, 03:01 PM
IMO I don't think that they would take the time to go house to house and take all the 'extra' animals from innocent people such as you and your husband. If they don't take the time to rescue the dogs that they already know are in unhealthy conditions, seems to me they won't try coming after you.

I was looking through some website of a city, I think Minnetonka, MN and they have this ordinance of (hold on, let me look it up). Okay, they require people to have a permit if they have more than 2 dogs and 5 cats. I don't know how effective it is, but maybe you could suggest that at the next meeting.

I know these morons ruin it for us responsible pet owners, but this is the world in which we live. Sucks, I know. I wish you all the best.

jdee
07-12-2006, 04:16 PM
I want to thank everyone for your good ideas, and advise. I have composed a letter, and sent it to the ASPCA, HSUS, and several Texas based groups. Hopefully I'll get some help. I'm going to also write a letter to the local newspaper. I don't know if they'll print it, but I have to try. Please send prayers and good thoughts my way. I don't want to say anything to alienate the powers in control of this. If I put them on the defensive, they might close their minds to anything I have to say, even if they agree with it.

As I said before, I'm not normally a "take charge" type person, and this is very scary to me. I have self esteem problems, and am easily intimidated. I guess that's why I hang around with animals. :D

Mrs.H
07-12-2006, 05:38 PM
I'm glad I saw where you're contacting the ASPCA, and the HSUS, they should be able to give you some decent advice. I agree with the Ladybug Lady, the pen is a mighty weapon, write, write, and write some more, that is a good way to express yourself when one on one contact is difficult for you. And don't sell yourself short, when someone is passionate for a cause/issue, they can overcome any personal issues they might have to fight for what's right! I am a animal lover, I have almost always had a dog/dogs in my family/pack. I'd have a cat as well, but allergies and a DH that has cat issues stand in the way. We have always said that if we ever win a big power-ball jackpot, that we will open a no-kill shelter, something sorely lacking in our county, cats, dogs, pigs, whatever, as long as it's a family pet in need of a safe home. Fight the good fight jdee, I'll be here to provide emotion support.
Linda

jamiejeans
07-12-2006, 09:37 PM
There is nothing wrong with hanging out with animals. As a matter of fact, I tend to like more animals I meet than humans.

I can totally understand the fear of a city being able to just take away your beloved animals. I don't know what I would do if that was a situation I found myself in.

I don't think that in your situation, where you have well cared for cats, presumably not making any noxious odor, filth, etc within your neighborhood because of them, that they would take away your cats. The city would never know you even had them. It's the people like that mentally ill man that they know about due to complaints.

jdee
07-14-2006, 12:16 AM
Well, I'm back with some encouraging news...

One of the organizations that I emailed, The Responcible Pet Owners Association, wrote back to me. Attached was a flyer, containing just the information we need to present our views to the council, and facts to support our position. My husband printed out the document, and met with the city manager, to ask the rules for speaking at the next meeting. He also asked him to check and see what kind of cruelty laws, if any, that we already have on the books.

He told my husband that they really don't want to pass any new laws, they just are at thier wits end about what to do about this man. The good news is that the he found out that the county is not putting this matter off any longer, and the man's trial is set for sometime in September. The subject of pet limit laws is not even on the agenda for the next meeting, and he doesn't look for it to come up again any time soon, if ever. He did say he would distribute the printed document to the council members, and be sure to let us know if the subject should arise again.

I am very relieved. I am going to keep gathering information, should this come up again. That way I can come across as intellegent, instead of just looking like a crazy cat lady on a rant. :roflhard:

jdee
07-14-2006, 12:43 AM
By the way,
I thought that since I've been talking about them so much, ya'll might want to see some pictures of my cats. Since I don't know how to resize pictures, I'll just post a link to one of my online Photo albums.

http://jjohnson433.photosite.com/MyBabies/

jamiejeans
07-14-2006, 09:26 AM
What beautful cats you have!