To the Court of Public Opinion:
I’ve been an animal advocate all of my life & in my community for over 30 years in which I have volunteered my time & money in trying to resolve an ongoing & over whelming situation with abandoned & abused animals in our town & Kane Co. & when not many others wanted to even bother with this, including our towns police dept. in South Elgin. I first became aware of this problem back in the 1980’s when I worked at the police dept. & discovered that some of our police officers would take the stray cats to a local gravel pit to practice target shooting at them, & I knew that there had to be a more humane way in handling this!
During all of this time the police dept. & even our local animal shelter would give out my name & number to the people who would call them for help in dealing with a problem with felines instead of helping them. But now we suddenly have this “Code Enforcement” Frank Altmaier who apparently has nothing better to do other then harass me & since Mr. Altmaier doesn’t even reside in our town I informed him that I had been doing in this in our town for over 30 years!
During this entire time I have never claimed to be a “Licensed Shelter” & have always just been known as a “Feline Rescue”& had originally only been involved in TNR- Trap-Neuter-Release for feral felines. Which requires a recovery period after spaying or neutering felines prior to releasing them, along with finding a safe place for them where they may have some form of shelter & food. Unfortunately, irresponsible people have now created an overwhelming situation by abandoning their domestic felines & didn’t even have the common sense to have them spayed or neutered resulting in the over population of kittens being born outside.
The only “License” I ever claimed to have was obtained with the Dept. of Ag. For the Welfare of Animals which was required when anyone is involved trapping felines in the rescue of these animals. The only thing that I maybe guilty of is abiding with any laws in regards to the trapping & rescue of felines & following all of the requirements in doing so with the Dept of Ag. For the Welfare of Animals, the Illinois Secretary of State & Kane County. During this entire time there has never been any problems or complaints with what I was doing.
Also, since I was “Not a Licensed Shelter” I have never charged any adoption fee to anyone taking any of the felines that I have rescued during this entire time, as the actual “Animal Shelters” do!
Sometime in the first part of 2010 after some publicity was in the newspapers regarding the possibly of receiving a 50K grant to use for the expenses in caring for the rescued felines, which we never received is what I’m sure initiated our town’s “Code Enforcement” & just happened to coincide with Mr. Altmaier showing up at my door stating that I could not be a “Licensed Shelter” in our town. When I asked how many animals can my neighbor’s have I was told that there was No Limit! I then explained that I was not an actual “Licensed Shelter” & only had a “License” with the Dept. of Ag. For allowing me to trap in rescuing of Felines & that I will cancel that “License” & on 09-11-2011 I sent a letter cancelling the only License that I had with the Dept. of Ag. For the Welfare for Animals & told “Code Enforcement” Mr. Altmaier during his initial visit that these were now all just my felines.
So, they quickly held a town meeting on my behalf to pass an ordinance on 03-21-2011 (which there has never been any ordinance prior to this date & during the period of the 30 years that I had been rescuing felines) that people were only allowed to have 4 animals in their homes. They also stated at that time that anyone with more animals prior to this ordinance would still be allowed to keep them except for me, which is a violations of my rights.
The following is taken from this newly passed ordinance Dated: March 21, 2011:
Section 13. Repeal and Savings Clause. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall affect any rights, actions, or causes of action which shall have accrued to the Village of South Elgin prior to the effective date of this ordinance.
Regardless of the above statement The “Code Enforcement” Frank Altmaier showed up again on 08-09-2012 & then again on 08-15-2012 with a 30 day notice? He told me that what I’ve been doing is illegal & wrong, but I guess that’s is not illegal or wrong if I just throw all of these rescued felines out as all of those irresponsible people had done which created this problem, or if those professional animal trappers drown them while still alive in the trapper, or if the homeless people in Elgin down by the river use all of the kittens that they get for free as bait for fishing, etc. He went on to inform me that I can’t care for these felines in this town & that I would have to go else where to care for them.
Well, now our compassionate towns “Code Enforcement” Frank Altmaier sent a registered letter dated 10-31-12 (Halloween how appropriate) stating that they were going to fine me for a violation of “Non-permitted Use” for up to $750.00 per day! So now it appears as if I will have to just turn over my social security check each month to them.
Dealing with all of this Ridiculous nonsense has been extremely stressful & has contributed to my health issues. I think that this is a shame that after 30 years of volunteering my time & money in doing something that I believe was Right for this town this is how they Thank Me! Eleanor Roosevelt once said “Do what you feel in your Heart to be Right, for you’ll be criticized anyway”.
Sadly, the only option that our “Code Enforcement” are giving any remaining rescued Felines is to be Euthanized!
This is unjust & a violations of my rights since I have been rescuing felines in my town for 30 years & there has never been any code ordinace during this time & was only passed after they suddenly decided that I could no longer help these abandoned & abused felines & passed an ordinance on March 21, 2011 allowing only 4 animals per home but anyone with more prior to this ordinance would be allowed to keep them except me.
P.O. Box 595, South Elgin, IL 60177
or you can E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call me maybe at: (847) 931-4535