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Release the Pankratz Pets

This petition had 1,385 supporters

I have owned & operated a very successful business here in Salina for almost 4 years. I have a doggie daycare & animal boarding facility which was the first of its kind in our town. In September 2014 we moved into a much larger & nicer building with hopes of many great improvements & additions to last us for years. Unfortunately soon after moving in the landlord did not make the improvements that were needed to reopen. Therefore I was forced to go to our local chamber to ask for help in dealing with this situation. We believe that in retaliation the shelter was called & it was reported that abuse was seen going on in our building. This made the local shelter come out to investigate. Besides a few customers dogs that had been moved over from our old building there was only my own personal pets. Instead of looking to see if there was any abuse as their search warrant stated & only removing any animals showing visible abuse they decided to arrest/remove me from the building, demand all employees leave & then proceed to remove all animals.

Immediately after being released I contacted the shelter about getting my pets back. I was told that they found no abuse but I could not see them or get them released. I contacted a lawyer. 40 days later I was finally given my first chance to visit them. It was a heart wrenching visit. I could tell that they thought we had given them up & were so happy to see us. Yet we were not allowed to take them home. 60 days into it they gave me back half my pets & told me again...that they found no abuse....yet I was not allowed to get the pets that were most effected by staying in such an awful place. They kept my cats, dogs & therapy pigs. It has now been 120 days & I have been allowed to see my pets 6 times. Most of these visits were only after my lawyer negotiated times for me to see them. Only one of these visits was an hour. The other visits have been 15 minutes which comes out to less than a minute per pet. It has been awful. Even with scheduled visits the shelter continually cancels my visits for all kinds of random reasons. I was finally told after much complaining that I could come see them any time I wanted but just could not take them outside without a scheduled visit & then the next day they were moved into a locked room where even the volunteers are not allowed to go.  My lawyer has tried to work out an agreement on my pets release but they continually drag their feet, don't return phone calls & at this point have not returned any paperwork even though they have told us repeatedly that they want to release my pets. The new shelter manager has threatened me if I go to the media. She says she will never let me visit my pets. She has already done that with me staying quiet. She has told me that if I reopen my daycare within the city limits, no matter if it passes inspection, she will never give me my commercial license. She has told me that when she returns my pets she will harrass me continually if Im inside the city limits. She has told me she will release my pets but my dogs can not live in my house with me even though there is a multi dog license in place. She refused to renew this multi dog license until a complaint was filed to her superior. All of these conversations have been recorded for court purposes yet the threats continue.

From the day that our pets were wrongly removed the shelter has slandered me & my business to the newspaper & all media that would listen. I want to set some things straight for those who are not familiar with the incident.
The shelter reported that my animal business had no running water or electricity. I have documents from all utilities stating that this is a false statement. The landlord had an electrician working on splitting the meter between my building & the one behind on the day they entered. (He had so kindly been letting me pay for both buildings up till then) There had always been running water.
They said I had no commercial license. No...I did not yet but the paperwork had been filed, the money paid, I have paperwork to prove this. I was expecting it by the end of that week.
Yes...I did get arrested when they entered the building. I was arrested for not going to court on charges of having a pig & ducks in town. Evidently the lawyer I was using for this didn't show up to court. It was unknown to me at the time. The ducks were brought home from the fair to be picked up by a man who had bought them & the pig was visiting for the day when the shelter came & told us they could no longer come to daycare.  
They said pets were not up to date on their shots. This is definitely false. No pet was allowed into the daycare without paperwork showing that all shots were up to date. My own animals, ALL not just dogs, are regularly shown & had to be up to date with the proper paperwork to be in any/all show rings.
All of my personal pets are on monthly flea treatment. I can not vouch for clients pets. This is something we strongly encourage customers to do but can not regulate. We had just excepted 2 cats that were in isolation till they could be examined so I did not know whether they had fleas or worms at the time but all other pets owned by me were in great condition.
We except cats when we can to rehome & rescue. Our city shelter is known for putting down 90% of their cats so many bring them to us instead. The cats had a nice temporary playroom with lots of ramps running the walls to climb on. This was ok'd by the state. We had plans drawn for a huge room with its own skylight to come.
(I regularly help out people who have lost their homes so they don't have to lose their pets while they get back on their feet. I do this at no cost & give meds & shots if needed at my own expense.)
The State inspector had just visited our building the week before and we had PASSED our inspection with flying colors. This is very important & the shelter seems to want to forget this.
The building had all new paint, floors, fencing, toys & furniture. We were a no cage (for dogs & cats) facility so there were no cages to be dirty. We only had crates for feeding & time out if needed. These are also required by the state for emergency purposes as well. We had a huge outside play area with plenty of room to run.
We had permission from the day we opened over 3 years ago to have someone stay the night at our facility. It is considered a night watchman position. It was a wonderful service that we were able to offer our customers. There was 1 sleeping room with a human bed & several large dog beds in it along with an office desk.
They reported that we owned many animals. Yes...all pets were recorded by the state & were at excepted numbers. My daughter & I are animal trainers. We are both 4H leaders in many animal groups in 4H. We show chickens, birds, cats, rats, rabbits, dogs, pet pigs & horses. My daughter & I both groom as well. We have a place in the country to keep most of these pets. When you have a farm these animals are not too many. It is what is expected if you love the farm life. Our business building was 6000 square feet. It had ac & heat. This is adequate space to house several different kinds of pets comfortably. Our pets are our whole life. We spent 24/7 with them. Training them, feeding, grooming, showing & loving them.
Yes...we have trained therapy pigs. These pigs have been to every fundraiser for the same shelter that is now torturing them. Hamlet has been to many of the retirement/nursing homes in this city. He is loved by all. They have a home in the country to go to yet the shelter won't let them go.
No abuse has been found on any animals. 60 days into this ordeal the shelter gave me back half my pets. This is a sure sign that I have not been found to be an abuser. The only person/place doing any abusing is the shelter itself. They are abusing their power. They have repeatedly threatened me to keep quiet. They have abused my civil & constitutional rights. They are abusing my pets & my family by keeping us apart from the ones we love & who love us. They have absolutely no reason to continue to keep us apart. It has been 120 days at the time of this petition.

This petition has been started to get the attention of this cities decision makers & to get the help of the animal loving community to get these sweet babies back to the people they love & whom love them dearly in return.



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