Sunday, February 16, 2014

Catalyst for change

To turn Abraham Lincoln's quote, " God must love cats, he made so many of them."

Cats waiting to be rescued.
I am so grateful for all of the people who made a difference in this recent horror story. We've reached the first plateau and there is much more to accomplish. Check any or all of these articles for background on this story that involves cats, cat hoarding in a residential neighborhood and an ineffective homeowners association.

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/24728618/2014/02/14/dozens-of-cats-taken-from-hernando-home

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2014/2/12/deadline_is_set_for_.html#.UvwUuUmvUdQ.email

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/hernando-woman-moves-out-of-house-but-leaves-behind-as-many-as-65-cats/2165313




Judith Mottram is interviewed.
Words cannot express what an emotional, hard journey this has been. 

Friday -- Valentine's Day, as the (SPCA) angels, who risk their own health daily, removed cats and kittens from a filthy hell, the newspapers and TV stations documented the process, promising this story doesn't go unnoticed. County officials showed up in support. Neighbors watched with tears.  I was happy, sad, angry, relieved and so grateful. 

That night, I was exhausted. The Olympic Games were far away in distance and in my thoughts. As I watched, I was retracing the path that led me to this point. Cats, who never had the right to a good life are now getting that chance, because of the connections I finally made with people who care.

It is daybreak on Saturday morning. I slept well last night and know you must have, too. Now, I can't stop the tears. I mourn for the cats and kittens that didn't get a chance for a good life. It is an emotional let down. I feel in part, to blame for not fighting harder for them a long time ago. 

When I did fight harder the walls to a solution kept getting thicker and taller. Yes we were fighting for the health of our neighborhood as well. To some that was the major component to our battle.  While my hopes were to see these animals freed and placed in good homes, I faced the reality that they are no different than millions of cats who must be euthanized because there aren't enough good homes to go around. 

My supportive husband, Kevin, kept saying, "Go higher, go higher, Go all of the way to the Supreme Court. You are right. This is wrong."

Hernando County Commissioner Diane Rowden talks with
SPCA veterinarian Kim Domokos.  
Luckily, my next step up was Hernando County Commissioner Diane Rowden. who immediately took charge, devised a plan and lined up the the groups and people who turned her plan into action. She immediately saw the inhumanity and raised her voice loud enough to get the media's attention focused on the plight of these cats and the neighborhood. Rowden defines what public service should be all about.

Additional special thanks to neighbors Judith Mottram and Sheryl Sullivan who kept a vigilant stream of awareness going, by issuing complaints, making calls to animal services and spreading the news.

Okay, I am over the tears, recharged and ready to go on. This story isn't over. It is like a tree with many branches sprouting as we move forward.

What we've all done is connect as a team. What we've all done is bring to light this horrifying scenario and saved dozens of cats. Thank you.

Peace be with you, your families and your loved ones -- especially your pets.

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