Government Outrage against local rescuer.
Linda Johnson was served a warrant by VaBeach Animal Control Sunday. They entered her house and collected/snared 96 cats. She was in the middle of cleaning (Cleaning day), and they told her to stop. They had Forensics take pictures and cops on site. They were there 9 hours.
Gloria Foerst, 5200 Kings Highway, Suffolk (was on the warrant), had adopted a kitten from her and brought it back cause she wasn't working out. She wanted to exchange for another one. Linda said she wasn't a car dealership, but would exchange it for another that she hadn't put a lot of bucks into. The lady said, "No", and told Linda she would regret it. The lady notified Animal Control that the place smelled, was filthy, etc.
AC implemented gestapo tactics once they were in the house. Wouldn't let Linda help put them in carriers. Snared cats. Made a mess of the place. Rude, heavy handed. Confiscated her computers and all her well kept paper files. She had to shove the bag of medications into their hands.
CRI has worked with Linda. We helped her place some kittens. She keeps the best records of anyone I know. Some of my people have been to her place and did not notice the usual odors. She has 2 cattery licenses and all rabies certificates. Her vet is Abbey Animal Hospital and they will be supporting her. Based on the number of cats, I'd say she's a bit of a collector. But the animals are well tended. She's lived in the neighborhood for 14 years with no complaints. They've hired Jeremiah Denton for their lawyer. They have a court date in less than 10 days. The lawyer is to send a letter notifiying AC that they want everything returned as they took it - in good order and accountability for all the felines they took. Once they get past the animal control issue they plan to sue Foerst.
Today, I spoke to Mr. Wayne Gilbert, Suprevisor of Virginia Beach Animal Control.
I asked him what the procedure was for investigating complaints of abuse/neglect.
His response was, that they send an Officer out to investigate and determine is any laws are being broken and if so, a warrent must be secured from a Magistrate.
THIS WAS NOT DONE!
The Police showed up with warrents in hand BEFORE doing any investigation!
Mrs. Johnson has spend, since 2002, over $23,000.00 of HER OWN MONEY on Vet care, over $6000.00 on litter and $9000.00 on food.
Currently, Virginia Beach Animal Control is taking "reservations" on the cats siezed from her home as though her conviction is a done-deal!
Here are links to our local newspaper about the incident.
I am outraged over this clear abuse of power and the obvious vindictiveness of one person who can, by making a phone call to a less-than honest member of our city government dsirupt the life of someone who is just trying to save homeless cats.
If this story ourtages you, I would ask that you please contact
Mr. Wayne Gilbert, Supervisor of Animal Control
Virginia Beach Animal Control
2665 Leroy Dr
Virginia Beach, VA
Phone: Office: (757) 427-4158
Fax: (757) 427-0199
Mayor Meyra Oberndorf
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Home: 497-2446 (And she thought she was safe at home)
E-Mail the Mayor ctycncl@VBgov.com
E-Mail the Animal Control firstname.lastname@example.org
Some stats from 2002 for Virginia Beach
Stray Animals Picked Up 10,153
Unwanted Animals Turned in by Owner 866
Animals Returned to Owner by Officer
(via License tag identification or some means of identification) 256
Animals Claimed by Owner 2,451
Animals Adopted by Citizens 1,252
Animal Cruelty Investigations 1,927
Animal Bite Reports Received 1,391
Animals Euthanized 5551
Virginia Beach bills itself as a "Community for a Lifetime", but I dare say if your a dog or cat, that lifetime might be a short one.
You may fire when ready