Thursday, April 17, 2008

URGENT HELP STILL NEEDED!

Yesterday I received a Best Friends email about the plight of a cat rescuer -- located 15 minutes from me, so I contacted her to offer my help. Tammy Rothrock lives in Brazil, Indiana, where she and her husband, in their home of more than 20 years, have been rescuing stray cats and providing them with safe, healthy lives. Right now they have 31 kitties in their large home, all spayed, neutered, and vaccinated, with regular vet care. Just look at some of these precious babies ...The Rothrocks are operating legally: the City of Brazil issued a kennel license to them last year, and they were in the process of organizing as a non-for-profit rescue shelter. Now the city has suddenly decided that her area isn't zoned for "business", that her kennel license isn't valid, and they've ordered her to get rid of all her cats. And they've also ordered her husband to immediately shut down the auto repair business he has operated on the property for more than 20 years!

This loving couple is using their own money to do the city's work by taking in and caring for stray animals that would otherwise be out on the streets breeding. And instead of thanking them and supporting them, the city is making Tammy get rid of the cats she loves, destroying the family business and taking away their income ... and ultimately making them give up their family home, because rather than give up their beloved cats and their rescue efforts, the Rothrocks have put their house up for sale!THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS and I ask the entire Cat Blogosphere to join forces to prevent what their city is doing to the Rothrocks. Here's what we can do:

1) First, I ask you to please read the full information and watch the news video:
2) Then, I hope you'll join me in emailing the following city officials to protest their actions and suggest more humane solutions before their "work session" next Thursday, Apr. 24. Let them know the state you're writing from so they'll realize this is more than a local response, and please copy me at artsycatsy(at)yahoo(com) so I can compile a record of the emails for the Rothrocks. (Remember to be polite and courteous - anger could make the situation worse!):
Michele Altman, City Plan Administrator: michele@brazil.in.gov
Mayor Ann Bradshaw: ann@brazil.in.gov
Sam Glover, City Council Member: samglover@brazil.in.gov
Patricia Heffner, City Council Member: patheffner@brazil.in.gov
Karen McQueen, Clerk/Treasurer: karen@brazil.in.gov

3) You can also email a Letter to the Editor of the Brazil newspaper.

4) If anyone has any experience with this kind of situation and might have some advice for the Rothrocks, please email me at artsycatsy(at)yahoo(dot)com and I will immediately pass your info on to Tammy.

5) Finally, if you could put a link to this story, or re-post it on your blog or Catster, or anywhere else you can think of, it will help get even more emails to these people.

Thank you SO MUCH for anything you can do! This situation tears at my heart, because I could find myself in the same situation - the number of rescued cats in the Artsy Catsy household exceeds that allowed by my city's ordinances ... as may be the case for many of us in the Cat Blogosphere. As a recent Alley Cat Allies mailing said:

"Across this country, citizens are being punished for caring for stray and feral cats. These caregivers did not create the colonies of cats - they are serving their communities by humanely caring for them. But according to antiquated animal control laws and uninformed community leaders, each of these Good Samaritans deserves to be punished ... WE must change outdated animal control laws, policies and practices. WE must stop caregivers from being punished for doing the right thing."

~~ Sharolyn

23 comments:

DEBRA said...

This is outrageous!

I just don't understand why something like this would happen to people who are trying to do good works...

Absolutely amazing.

Debra (Abby's Mom)

Diamond Emerald-Eyes said...

I would imagine there would be some legal grounds for them to fight this on it they wanted to take it to court. The city turned their back all these years (was it more than seven?) so they should quality for a zoning exeption.

Artsy Catsy said...

Diamond, they already did apply for a zoning exception, and the city turned them down.

Tybalt said...

Oh, how horrible!!!!! Why do only those people who try to do good suffer?

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Hey, hope you don't mind but since this is urgent and you said we can re-post it on blogs (you probably meant rewrite too, but Jan is rushing us so she can get out of here), we borrowed your whole post and linked to your site giving you total credit. And Jan sent emails to her friends who aren't into reading blogs, but are great at responding to any animal crisis. We sure don't want these people to lose their home, pets or business.

In fact, if the husband has been running a business there for 20 years, wouldn't his business be grandfathered into any new zoning?

Artsy Catsy said...

Jan, the city council refused to grandfather them in. They're being unreasonable in every way.

Cheysuli and gemini said...

Okay, we have written our letters. We hope they help.

Junior said...

Meowm just sent an email off to each one of these people. We hope it helps!

This town obviously didn't learn anything from the last city that tried to get rid of cats!

Cheysuli and gemini said...

I got an email back from one of the people who were part of this. It was one of the "purposeful" sort of things where everything one emphasized was misread. According to them I have "been misinformed" and I should have checked my facts.

Artsy Catsy said...

I'd like to ask everyone who receives a response from the city of Brazil please forward them to me at artsycatsy(at)yahoo(dot)com. I've read a few so far and the city isn't being quite straightforward in their responses.
~Sharolyn

Cecil the Cougar: said...

This is atrocious! (big word for me!). Mommie will write a letter immediately. This makes me very very angry but we will be calm. Fanks for letting us know!

The Cat Realm said...

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!
We will write. We are sure this will be reversed. It IS time to have a look on laws again and change them!
We did come by today to thank you for coming to our blogoversary party and celebrate with us! It wouldn't have been as much fun without you - and we hope you had a great time too and not too much of a hang-over!!!!
Karl

Parker said...

We sent our letters!

Sassy Kat said...

This is terrible and I will help spread the word. They are trying so hard to help the poor kitties why won't the bad city leave them along??????

Dr Tweety of da Fab Five said...

Rocky,
Will it be Okay if da momee writes da letterz dis weekend? She reeely wants to help, but da only spare time she haz iz da weekend. I will holdz her handz to da keyboard...
We wanted to tanks you fur stoppin' by yesterday & cellybratin' my birf-day.
Tank you Rocky, fur all dat you do fur other cats.
Doze cats looked furry well cared fur.
Love,
Dr Tweety

Angus said...

That is just crazy, and I'll fire off an email ASAP..polite wording of course. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

The Taylor CatSSSSS said...

I contacted Alley Cat Allies yesterday! They have agreed to help!!!

Rothrock's + all us 4 legged babies said...

Thank you so very much for everyone's support. Our mumi told us that she needs all the she can get. she also asked us to tell you that she will in Terre Haute until later this afternoon (Thursday) if anyone writes to her - K? She doesn't want human stick things to think she isn't there.

George Steppa & Babys said...

take this to one of the news tv ABC NBC OR CBS the city will listen to them lol call your congressman GOOD LUCK

Boy said...

Poor kitties. That's so tewwible!

Rothrock's said...

The Rothrock's and all us four legged babies want to thank everyone for their support. Our mumy n dady and all of us kitties really need all the help we can get. Our dady just isn't the same now that all this has happened and mumy is constantly busy w/ something that she doesn't pay as much attention to us. We miss our mumy & dady. Can you please help? Thanks - paws up!!

Forty Paws said...

This is why we don't publish our city on our blog. We are in the same situation with too many cats per the city ordinance, and as the Rothrock's, we have spent tons of money on keeping these cats healthy; especially since most of them are special needs.

We have been wanting to move for the past year into a bigger house and one of the first things I look at is the HOA restrictions and the city's ordinances. HOAs in Texas are usually stricter than any city, and they are very powerful. We will probably end up having to move to an unincorporated area which means we could have a salvage yard pop up next door!!!

Good luck to the Rothrock's. I don't know that I would bother fighting. Why stay in a city and next to a neighbor who clearly don't want them? Take their taxes and discretionary income elsewhere.

Luf, Us

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