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Woman Charged for Helping Feral Cats

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posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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I'm not sure how much interest this will garner but I find it ridiculous.

Anne Betancourt from Liberty, Missouri had a feral cat problem in her neighborhood. She took it upon herself to trap the cats, have them spayed/neutered and vaccinated with her own money, and released them back into the wooded area they live in.

Authorities decided to charge her with cat hoarding. They claim the city only allows 4 cats per residence and this lady has at least 12.

Betancourt claims she does own 4 cats that live in her house and any other cats are wild cats that live in the wooded area near her house. She does not own them. She captured them, took them to a vet, and released them, as she was advised to do by an animal rescue group.

She is in a jury trial right now waiting to see her fate. She hopes the jury finds in her favor and the incident changes the local laws.

What is ridiculous to me is that the city should be happy they have a citizen trying to help with the feral cat population. Why are they making this such a huge issue?


The City of Liberty's policy for the feral cat population is to "trap" the cats and then "humanely euthanize" them, a process which costs the taxpayers money and which ends the lives of innocent animals. With the service that Betancourt has provided, the city has not had to incur the expense and manpower involved in trapping and euthanizing the cats. Even more disconcerting is the fact that the taxpayers are currently footing the bill for the City of Liberty to prosecute Betancourt for her willingness to help resolve what is an ongoing problem in many communities all over the U.S. .


The question is, since Betancourt paid to have the animals fixed and vaccinated does this automatically make them her property? Is it just a good deed?

I'd like to add, the first link below says her court date was in September, but it is actually happening right now. No word yet on what the verdict is.

Source
Source
edit on 5-11-2012 by tport17 because: (no reason given)
edit on 5-11-2012 by tport17 because: (no reason given)



+4 more 
posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by tport17
 


It has been my experience that cats belong to NOBODY; rather we belong to them if we are fortunate enough to be chosen by them. Cats in my opinion are the most independent beings in the animal kingdom and choose where they want to live and whom they associate with by their own set of standards which we mere humans will never understand.

I don't think the "authorities" in this case have a paw to stand on!



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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MIssouri must be super hard-up for revenue, to do something so idiotic and unfair.

I have a friend who lives just outside the city limits of St. Louis. She had an animal control officer visit her to make sure that her dogs were properly "licensed". My friend said she got the proper licensing from the city. The officer said she also had to have licensing from the county as well, something my friend was not told and had no idea about.

While talking with this over-zealous public servant, my friend's cat slipped out. The officer said that my friend was violating the leash law by letting the cat out without a leash (!). My friend said, she ran out, I didn't let her out. Then the officer harrassed her over not having the proper city AND county license for the cat.

Long story short, my friend ended up with two tickets: One for the dogs not having the extra county license, and one for the cat not being on a leash, and not have city and county licenses. My friend said it was because she dared to question the officer and her haste in wanting to write citations. Unreal!!!

Cities are trying to think of everything under the sun to fine people in order to generate revenue. Missouri, to me, appears to be way over the top with this sort of behavior.

The fact that somebody cared enough to deal with the feral population, thereby saving tax dollars that would have gone for animal control, sheltering and euthanasia, is being punished and dragged into court for doing the right thing, says volumes about the direction our country is headed.

It's not just the federal goverrnment that has become corrupt and insane, it is also the city and county governments. However, watch how quickly they shut up if people suggest that these public servants take a pay cut.
edit on 5-11-2012 by FissionSurplus because: clarification



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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reply to post by tport17
 


What a ridiculous thing to charge her for helping keep the feral cat population in check, and insuring their health


In my neck of the woods, literally woods. There is a feral cat, trap and release program in place. It's funded by donations, and volunteers. They have the humane traps available for use in trapping them, then a host of local Vets who do extremely low cost spay and neuter, vaccines for them. The one thing to take advantage of this program is, you must release the feral cats, that can't find homes, back into the area around your home where you trapped them, and continue to feed them.

All she was doing was helping...now she faces punishment for it. What a crock!!!

Des



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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Just more government nonsense. I myself have 3 cats. In the last few years, 4 more have come to live with us. Strays. Well... 3 were strays, one is the neighbors cat who likes it better here. So am I doing something wrong? Cats tend to do what they want. They aren't like dogs.

It seems to me this lady is just compassionate. Especially that she is using her money to have the cats fixed and vaccinated. FIV and FeLV spread like crazy amongst feral cats. And that in turn can spread to peoples pets. She is doing a huge service for her community and she should be honored, not punished.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by FissionSurplus
 


We have been harassed quite a bit over our dogs. The same dogs that lie around all day doing nothing, are healthy and cared for, and are not causing problems for anyone.

I know exactly what you mean about doing anything to get money. We have already paid in over $100 in fees and "warnings".



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:19 AM
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She is doing a good thing and I hope the Jury sees this.

There is a vet in my mom's town that has started trapping cats at night, if he sees them 2-3 times and spays or neuters them. He says he has never seen a small town with such a large cat problem. Everyone in town knows he is doing this, and supports him completely.

What a waste of that towns (OP story) money!!!



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 03:21 PM
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reply to post by tport17
 


Great allocation of tax payer money... just great...i know i will sleep a little safer now that the cat hoarder is no more.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 03:32 PM
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I think this woman was doing a wonderful thing and hope they rule in her favor. it breaks my heart to think about all the feral cats or the ones in the spca that no one wants. HUGE cat lover here



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 04:51 PM
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Is the process to house and feed these "feral cats" more expensive than the alternative?



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:08 PM
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She has been found GUILTY!
The jury decided she was harboring cats in excess of the 4 allowed. Can't provide a link as I am not on my laptop right now.

Edit: Here is a link. Source
edit on 5-11-2012 by tport17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by tport17
 


That is crazy. Our local human society has a catch and release program. You can go borrow traps and then they give you vouchers for local vets for low cost spay and neuter. I can't believe the jury found her guilty.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:28 PM
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Society has now officially reached the stage of our evolution where we can now cite this story as an example of our devolution. When a jury can convict a person of being decent and treating animals in a humane manner ...

I am at a loss for words.


Much Peace...



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by tport17
 


I say she should train her wicked legion of cats to attack the city workers who come up with these stupid laws and teach them a lesson. They are lucky she got them vaccinated or they could be spreading disease among the rest of the cats. Stupid bureaucracy never did any good.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by FactFactor
 


The city council is out of their minds for wanting to prosecute her. geeesh.
OK I volunteer my two cats here to help in the attacks.





posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by tport17
 

This just goes to show how much the authorities want to exercise control over every aspect of our lives,regardless of the positive outcome that such an act encourages.This woman,to me,is a saint and her local authority are a bunch of blinkered nonentities.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by tport17
 

You people are amazing, cats kill anything they can catch; they live to catch and kill...not eat, just catch and kill. I have a large variety of wild birds, reptiles and bugs that find my property a haven for them year around but my neighbor's cats also love my property to hang out and hunt. For example, I have an extended family of Alligator Lizards who for years would run around without fear of anything, including me but then my neighbors cats began catching, killing and maiming them. The Yellow-headed Blackbirds that use to nest in the one of the birdhouses put up..Gone, the Orchard Orioles...Gone, the Valley Quails that would march across here and there to forage and take a drink in my pond..gone, Vermilion Flycatchers...gone.

So don't tell me about the poor Ferrel Cats...Cats are fine in your home and your house but not in mine and certainly not left to run wild and breed like the vermin they are but, I can see how many of you would relate to them, like Cats, people ruin anything natural and beautiful inevitably.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by MajorKarma
reply to post by tport17
 

You people are amazing, cats kill anything they can catch; they live to catch and kill...not eat, just catch and kill. I have a large variety of wild birds, reptiles and bugs that find my property a haven for them year around but my neighbor's cats also love my property to hang out and hunt. For example, I have an extended family of Alligator Lizards who for years would run around without fear of anything, including me but then my neighbors cats began catching, killing and maiming them. The Yellow-headed Blackbirds that use to nest in the one of the birdhouses put up..Gone, the Orchard Orioles...Gone, the Valley Quails that would march across here and there to forage and take a drink in my pond..gone, Vermilion Flycatchers...gone.

So don't tell me about the poor Ferrel Cats...Cats are fine in your home and your house but not in mine and certainly not left to run wild and breed like the vermin they are but, I can see how many of you would relate to them, like Cats, people ruin anything natural and beautiful inevitably.




This lady was spaying and neutering the cats and getting them vaccinated.

She did not want these cats running around and took measures to prevent more from being born and infecting her own animals and other animals. What do you suggest she should have done? Drown them?
edit on 5-11-2012 by tport17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:57 PM
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We have a horrible cat problem here in my neighborhood here in Indy. The city here offers to have cats (spayed only) then released.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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When I was in Vet Tech school many years ago in Woodland Hills, CA (San Fernando Valley)
it was common for cats trapped on or off campus to be brought in for a spay or neuter
for free & dirt cheap vaccines. The students were there to learn hands on nursing skills
& this was a way to help both the students & the animals. One of the cat's ear would be
notched (sorry can't remember which one there as in many places do the same practice)
to show at a distance that they were sterile.

Where I am currently living for the past 4 yrs there is a HUGE cat problem. I live on
a farm where I rent the pool house & 2 summers ago I counted at least 22 feral barn cats
that travel between 3 farms. It's horrible! The Tom cat who belonged to the Land Lady had to
be euthanized due to illness ~ 2 yrs ago & he was FIV & Felv positive. So now look at
how many positive cats. Thankfully Land Lady's daughter trapped almost all of them & took them
to the shelter, however not everyone was caught so the saga continues, just not as many last yr
or this yr.
My cat is only allowed out during the day when I am here. She HATES other cats & was raised
by my border collie Dirk since I rescued & saved her life at ~10 days old (someone tied her up in a
plastic bag & threw her in a dumpster)...yep her name is Baggs, didn't think of Glad or whatever
at the time. She goes through her loving hugs on Dirk several times a day even after 9 yrs.
She comes to my dogs recall whistle, comes to verbal commands, knows her name,
sits on command & gets her little doggie biscuit with my dog. She is also fascinated with sheep
& goats & would often scream & beg for me to turn around & wait for her to come with Dirk & I
to work sheep. She would literally sit there for ~ 20 to 30 minutes & watch....she's black
& too bad I couldn't paint a white tip on her tail & paws & teach her to herd, LOL!!!
Some people don't realize how smart animals are & they assume cats are not trainable.
It is truly a shame that lady was found guilty, Bloody H...it didn't even appear that she was even
feeding them.
Our catch & release was for control of the feral cats & did not require any one to feed or take care
of the cats once they were free.

I am very thankful that my cat does not wonder to the barn or the farm only goes about 10 to 20 yards
straight off the back of my patio into an alfalfa field with nothing else around...so beautiful to see
a solid black cat amongst the deep green. I know where she is at all times & if I'm sitting outside with all my animals (birds, dogs & etc) she stays within 10 ft with everyone else.

Cheers
Ektar
edit on 5-11-2012 by Ektar because: Left something out





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