Letters: ISN’T BROOKLAWN’S STANCE AGAINST PET VOLUNTEER CONTRADICTORY?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I recently learned that the Borough of Brooklawn is prosecuting a Furrever Friends Rescue and Volunteers (FFRV) organization volunteer for violation of its domestic animal ordinance, specifically for having too many cats in her home.
The ordinance limits three animals per residence.
FFRV takes in stray, abused and abandoned domestic cats. They are immediately taken to a veterinarian for a complete checkup, and are spayed or neutered. The cats are not permitted outdoors and that stipulation is part of the fostering and adoption agreements.
The organization does not have a shelter facility and the animals are fostered in volunteers' homes until they are adopted. The animals are neither sold nor bred.
Brooklawn's stance against the volunteer is contradictory to its ordinance because the town routinely refers strays to the volunteer, yet she is being charged with having too many cats in her home. If Brooklawn did not have the volunteer as a resident, the taxpayers would have to bear the entire cost of controlling stray, abused and abandoned domestic animals in the town.
FFRV volunteers bear the complete costs with money from donations and from their own pockets, and without support from the municipal or any other government.
While laws are necessary, most laws contain exception provisions for certain bona-fide and verifiable situations.
In the case of FFRV and other such organizations I believe that animal control ordinances warrant such an exception – not to breach the law – rather to provide a practical and common sense solution for the legitimate fostering of abandoned animals by good Samaritans.
I believe that a higher limit – or none – on the number of domestic animals that rescuers can foster ought to be permitted since, at any given time, the volume of abandoned animals varies and is not predictable.
I seek readers' help in influencing the Brooklawn Borough Council, and all municipalities, to enact appropriate amendments to their current ordinances.
I also believe that, in order to solve the too many abandoned animals problem, pet owners should bear greater accountability for the abuse, mistreatment and abandonment of animals; and that more severe punishment should be meted out to offenders.
The American spirit was founded by volunteers, and I believe that as freedom-loving Americans none of us want to see innocent animals that can bring great joy to people turned away at a time when they most need us.
We should thankful for, not prosecute, volunteer organizations like Furrever Friends that assist municipalities with their stray animal problem with only donations and their own out-of-pocket support.
Owen O'Neill, Westmont