Above the Law?

"The nonprofit rescue group Shadow Cats has been trapping, neutering and vaccinating feral cats for some time in Leander, director Sheila Smith said...  The problem... is that it's illegal... But the ordinance isn't being enforced when it comes to feral cats."  And it seems Police Chief doesn't want to discuss it either.

So we've got one group of rescuers persistently trespassing on church property for months and another group of rescuers illegally doing TNR in Leander.  Can you say scofflaw?

"Smith told city officials last month that her group was breaking the law... Her group is not trying to flout the law, she said."  Smith, do you know what "flout" means?  You knew what the law was, you ignored it instead of seeking change.  Yes indeed you are flouting the law!

"While the city waits for the task force's recommendation, Smith said Tuesday that her group will cease trapping in Leander.  'Out of respect for the council, we won't be doing any trapping in Leander,' she said."  ROTFLMAO.  You've already completely disrespected the council and the law.  Give me a break!

Don't get me wrong, I'm ALL for TNR programs but I'm more for abiding the law.  If TNR isn't legal, then one lobbies to get it legalized and doing TNR when and where it is illegal should be punished according to law.  If one wishes to be civilly disobedient, one just might have to pay a price.  Smith has made a CONFESSION and now she should be prosecuted.

"The rescue group volunteers 'have been operating in a shadowy area,' Mayor John Cowman said. 'They do provide a humane service, but it's also against the law.' "  Hey, Mayor, EASY call.  ENFORCE the law until it's changed, PERIOD.

I am so sick of this argument that it's "humane" so let's do it, screw the law, screw lobbying to change the law, just break the law and scream for public support for one's crimes.  That rather precisely describes most of the animal seizures that make it into media coverage now too.  Texas only prohibits cruelty?  All that's present is nominal neglect by someone suffering in this crappy economy?  No problem, we'll just pretend that meets the "cruelty" definition because it's the "humane" thing to do.  NO, it isn't the least bit humane to the animals and certainly not to the people.  There's nothing humane about flouting the law to thieve other people's property.  It is not humane to rip animals away from people who own them and it is damned sure not humane to send them into black holes called shelters where the kill rates are obscenely high.  All any of that does is leave more death, pain, and destruction.

Even though I favor TNR, Cats don't Get a Pass.  Cats can be a big problem and no property owner should be forced to put up with other people's cats OR feral cats on their property.  Nor should the scofflaw activities of Sheila Smith and her group be tolerated.  Maybe a little letter writing campaign to Leander Code Enforcement calling for Ms. Smith's prosecution is in order.  "If you would like to report a violation, please contact the city’s Code Enforcement Office to make a complaint."  Since maybe they missed the public admission of a crime published in the paper which does seem to happen with annoying frequency in the name of "humane" activities that are anything but...

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