By [post_author] –
Posted on Freedom Advocates on February 18th 2009
Residents of Santa Cruz County, California can rest assured that there are no holds barred when Animal Services encounter the ‘threat’ of domestic felines.
One particular incident began when Fluffy, (don’t let the name fool you), a shy, nervous, much loved pet of the Shaw family in Santa Cruz County, CA. became ill. Joanne, a member of Fluffy’s staff, (dogs have owners – cats have staff) was concerned. So Joanne contacted their longtime, trusted mobile veterinary team.
When the Vet team arrived they suggested caging Fluffy so they could do the examination in the Veterinary van parked in the family’s driveway. Being caged in a cat carrier box with the Veterinarian team present terrified Fluffy.
A frightened, nervous Fluffy scratched Michael (household Dad). This is normal behavior for a domestic cat that is being trapped. However the scratch may have been a bite. The Veterinarian team strongly recommended that Michael see a doctor—just in case.
Michael visited the local Doctors on Duty where he was questioned about the circumstances, including the cat’s name. Michael answered having been told that Animal Control would ignore the situation because it was Fluffy’s “first offense”. He thought that he was complying with a simple bureaucratic requirement that required doctor’s to report all animal bites. Note that the doctor never determined if a bite occurred in Michael’s case.
Unfortunately for the family, the doctor’s report woke up Animal Services. In their ever-vigilant efforts to protect us all from the depredations of ferocious animals, they took action.
On the following Sunday morning Joanne answered an urgent knock on the door and found herself face-to-face with a uniformed police/sheriff/paramilitary man–outfitted with big boots, belt, uniform, and a badge. He wants to see the cat. Joanne agrees to let him pass through the home to get to the backyard where Fluffy typically rests on the porch. Fluffy is naturally shy and has little use for strangers so he disappears.
The officer, Michael Sharp G28, Animal Control Officer II says he must observe Fluffy and Joanne must quarantine him for 10 days. Since Fluffy cannot be found or observed at this time, Joanne is told to call the officer to come back later that day for viewing.
When Joanne is told she also must pay $50 to cover this “service”, she objects realizing the true issue here is financial, not health and safety. On Tuesday, Joanne receives a call from Michael Sharp’s supervisor Todd Stosuy, Manager of Animal Control Services. He says he will waive the $50 “service fee” but Fluffy must be still be quarantined anyway.
Joanne informs him that the greater issue is no longer the $50 but her concern over jeopardizing Fluffy’s health by locking him up unnecessarily for 10 days. By now it is determined that the cat’s listlessness was caused by a urinary blockage that is only aggravated by stress.
Fluffy is neither rabid nor diseased nor is he used to being stuck indoors. He has been checked regularly and Joanne can provide verifying vet records. Todd, being immune or bereft of common sense, informs Joanne that if she does not quarantine Fluffy, he will file misdemeanor charges against her and see her in court. Joanne relents indicating that she was not given much of a choice and concedes that Fluffy will be available for viewing inside their home.
Later that day another officer comes out to “view” Fluffy. Michael shows him the simple scratch, which can now be determined not to be a bite. The officer said that since the doctor reported a bite, facts don’t matter at this point.
Joanne and Michael were informed that Fluffy must be contained until Animal Services comes out to view him again–at the end of the 10 day quarantine period.
Here’s a shot of Fluffy, upon hearing that the officer is going to return.
Animal Services’ out of control regulations are unnecessarily impacting pet owners and their beloved animals. Needless fines are imposed to intimidate and make owning a pet more difficult, while subsidizing the cat police.
The above events are accurate. However, the cat’s identity was changed to protect the innocent.
“Animal Services Out of Control” by Andrea Sanchez and Vern Westgate
Another article of interest: Rules for Radicals and The “Humane Society”
This article contains links to outside sources not controlled by Freedom Advocates and therefore are subject to change.