Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Matter of Principle

There are times one must take a stand.  That time has come for me.  I don't like controversy.  But one part of the animal welfare bill, now under consideration by the Oregon Legislature, written by the OHS director, is wrong.

Don't get me wrong.  Oregon Humane is a nice shelter, very large, very well funded, way up in Portland.  They don't affect us down here.  They don't help rescues down here and neither do we help them.  Although I have trapped cats in Portland for spay neuter which indirectly does affect every intake shelter by reducing their intakes.  Their director makes six figures.  Down here, we rescue types, usually come in the four figure range in income.  That's right.  Under $10,000 a year.  There's a world of difference between Portland and where I live.  We're like a different country.

We don't write laws down here that hurt people in Portland.  So why can't they return the favor?  Why not some respect?  We're not you, but that doesn't mean we don't try our best and lay it out to help animals.  Maybe you wouldn't mind to have an agency barge into your home.  Maybe $100 is nothing to you.  It's a huge amount to us down here.  We scramble for every little crumb.

The law under consideration requires people with over ten animals who also attempt to get donations, in any form, to support their care, to register and pay for a license, with the state and submit to inspections.   This bill was written without any notice to those it would affect--little rescues.  I would not even have known about it, but for spotting a posting on a big shelters website urging support.  This too was horribly wrong to do, to write it and try to run it through without participation from those it would affect or even notifying them.

The inspections are done by the local enforcing agency--animal control.  They are allowed to "inspect at any reasonable time" if there is a complaint that an unlicensed rescue is operating or that a rescue is not adhering to other specifications listed under licensing.

Rescues operate out of their own homes.  How would you like to live under that sort of threat, of animal control barging up and demanding entry, at any time?  Think how you would feel, not only if you'd helped tons of people and now the state wants to charge you for doing so, but if you could at any time be "raided".

This is America, for gosh sakes.

We all know people who don't like cats.  We have neighbors who don't like us.  You think they won't use this?  Yes they will.

It is take a stand time for me.  I will not pay $100 for a license to care.

I will not allow animal control into my place at any reasonable time for them.

I live in America, not in N. Korea.  I think.

In other news, I transported 14 cats up to Salem to be fixed for KATA.  KATA also opposes this bill.

In other news, an Albany woman called, wanting help for a neighbor man who feeds a feral mom and her kittens.  He's feeding the kittens milk, she said, which is making them very sick.  I told her I have no more funding and there is really no place to take a cat, at low cost, around here to be fixed.  They said they'd pay for the mom cat to be fixed at their own vet then.  They expected I would take the kittens and were surprised when I said "no".   I told them about this law being considered.  They said they knew people on Safehaven's board, and would call them and try to get the kittens in there that way, if I would help trap them all.  I agreed to that.

I know these women as the thin sisters.  A few years ago, I was called about a white mother cat outside the SS office, before it moved, living under the building next door.  She was blind.  I had to lead her into a trap with bits of tuna, since she otherwise had not gone into the caller's trap.  I determined she was lactating.  I met the thin sisters when I was on my stomach peering into the foundation of the building, making mother cat calls, and getting replies from under the building.

The thin sisters were able to shimmy under, through a teensy hole, and pull them out to safety.  They went on to foster those kittens and adopt the mother cat, who had eye surgery but still can barely see.  She is, however, extremely loving, they report.  So off I go, to see what is what with this latest mom, with kittens, and we will, despite no resources here, try to save them.

Here is the video I made of the little family back then:

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