9 votes

Zoning board taking therapy pets from 7-year old with Anxiety Disorder

This is why zero-tolerance policies are ridiculous.

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1927933265/The-dogs-of-war

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1927935130/City-OKs-chick...

Town zoning board taking (stealing) healthy therapy pets from 7-year-old Jaxon Torres, who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Lawrence has a 4 pet only rule. Although the animals are healthy and well-cared for, animal control has given them until Friday to get rid of four of the dogs, or they will be forcibly removed from the property.

“In regards to dog nuisance, i.e.: odor, condition of property, noise (I found) Ms. Diaz’s property to be without those concerns and to be in impeccable condition"....

As somebody who grew up in a house with seven German Shorthaired Pointers, and would not be alive today if it wasn't for a very special pooch, this story rips at my heart. If anyone tries taking my dogs there will be a stand off.

Please try to get these control freaks to change their minds.

http://www.cityoflawrence.com/planning.aspx
http://www.cityoflawrence.com/zoning-board-of-appeals.aspx
http://www.cityoflawrence.com/city-council.aspx
http://www.cityoflawrence.com/animal-control.aspx



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whatever happened to the fourth amendment?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

To take property a JUDGE must order it, not some petty bureaucrat.

Well this just broke my heart

Therapy animals are a fantastic way to treat many psychological disorders, and there is absolutely no reason this town's bureaucrats should be putting this family through this. I mean they even admitted there were no noise or concerns as to the condition of the house and that the animals were all well cared for.

I guess the bureaucrats and nosy neighbors would much rather Jaxon spend his childhood pumped full of psychotropic drugs. I'll be making some calls and emails today in support of the Torres family.

Thank you very much

Couldn't have said it better myself.

“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.” -Malcolm X

You're very welcome!

I too would not be where I am today without two very special kitties in my life, one of whom I only just lost at the ripe old age of 20 this past March. I still rescue so-called feral cats, so I have anywhere from 5-10 at any given time (5 as pets, the rest as we take them in, get them healthy and spayed/neutered, and find them new homes).

I did reach someone on the phone at Animal Control, and they seem to be very serious about the zero tolerance/strict enforcement/just following orders line. The woman I spoke with did mention that there was someone on the council who was trying to help the Torres, which I gathered from the articles was Sandy Almonte.

So I went ahead and sent the email below to each of the council members. I figured I'd post it here in case anyone else wants to use it as a starting point/form letter to send as well. Hopefully getting contacts from lots of folks outside of the area might help spur these folks into action, if for no other reason than to avoid the potential for bad publicity.

Dear Mr./Ms. Council Member,

I'm writing today after reading about the tragic story of the Torres family. I'm not from your area, but as an animal lover and someone who also benefits greatly from my pets and the cats I rescue, I felt the need to reach out in the hopes that you may be able to help this family keep their therapy dogs for their son Jaxon.

As I understand this issue, the Torres dogs are all well cared for, and their house is clean and not a noise disturbance to others. While I understand you have an ordinance allowing only 4 pets per household, a family like the Torres can clearly care and provide for more. The loss of a pet for anyone is tragic, and for a young boy struggling to overcome an anxiety disorder like Jaxon, that trauma would be multiplied and likely have very long lasting, negative consequences. Surely the needs of this child and the family's right to live as they choose so long as they aren't hurting anyone else should be placed above a well meaning but completely arbitrary ordinance.

I realize that your colleague Ms. Almonte has attempted to resolve this issue with a special permit, and I strongly urge you and others on the council to find some way to work with her in assisting the Torres family. Perhaps rather than a permit, the pet ordinance can be changed to allow exceptions for those who have multiple therapy animals or work as rescue and pet foster volunteers. Such a change would not only help Jaxon and the Torres family, but also others in your community who may find themselves in a similar circumstance should a neighbor decide to report them.

As more and more children wind up medicated and all too often over-medicated to control their behavior and other psychological issues, it's critical for respected community leaders such as yourself to allow and even advocate for other proven strategies like animal therapy.

If there is anything I can do to assist you with this matter or help the Torres family, please don't hesitate to contact me by email or phone at 555-555-5555.

Warmest Regards,
Carrie

As more and more children

As more and more children wind up medicated and all too often over-medicated to control their behavior and other psychological issues, it's critical for respected community leaders such as yourself to allow and even advocate for other proven strategies like animal therapy.

This is the tragedy. They'll pull the animals and replace them with drugs. The kid will end up over medicated to control his behavior. And the people who do this should be brought up on charges.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

You're a saint!

The world would be a better place with more people like you. It is great what you do for cats. Most people wouldn't even consider spending money on stray/feral animals. Two thumbs up!! I hope to do something similar once I buy some property.

Sorry to hear about your little buddy :( :( ...Sounds like you gave her a pretty damn good life!

....and about Lawrence, yes...the LAST thing our town officials want is bad publicity. We got plenty of that with our last mayor....even from the MSM.

Keeping my hopes up.

“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.” -Malcolm X

well thank you again

I'm glad I could help with this in at least some little way.

In terms of our rescues, we are very fortunate to have a vet nearby that also does rescue work and helps us immensely in terms of the financial aspect. I started when I was still renting, but I don't really recommend it. It's one of the reasons why my fiance and I have been putting off moving for a while. We're looking at a few places in both NC and SC, and I'm hoping since we want to live in a more rural area that we can find a rental with a little land that is OK with multiple pets.

Not having kids of our own also makes it a lot easier, though one day we hope to combine our cat rescue and rehab efforts with our plans to become foster parents.