Petition Closed

Pet Limitation Violates Constitutional Rights - Saving Our Gang Rescue Dogs

I can not express my feelings enough for the disparagement I have towards the past Miami Township Council members for imposing onto the community their respectively concern for the health and safety of Miami Township residents through a three pet limit for homeowners with property less than five acres, as well to the current council members for keeping such a draconian law in their ordinances. The functionality of three pet limit for single family residence under five acres is beyond the concept quality over quantity. There are households containing one pet who can/will not provide the more essential needs of a pet besides food and shelter. Whereas an individual who is/has devoted their time and effort maintaining to the well-being of animals in need.

Our Gang Rescue is being forced by Miami Township to reduce the number of adoptable rescued dogs down to their restricted three.

The dogs are within the home. They are not keep outside as residential dogs, all  dogs are treated as part of the family. This is to have the adoptable dogs accustomed to living in a house and the expectations of being in a home. There are dogs of one-dog families, dogs kept outside of the home, and dogs living on acreage not treated as well.

For those who think the simply solution is placing pets into shelters for adoption, apparently you haven’t gotten the memo – Not all animals are adopted or rescued out of shelters. For too many die. They are killed because they don’t do will living a shelter life, they are killed because they are deemed aggressive by the shelter workers, they are killed because they get sick at the shelters, but mostly they are killed because their time is up.

What’s wrong with limit laws? — Specific numbers are arbitrary, inflexible and do not reflect varied circumstances, capabilities and motivations of owners. Limits artificially restrict the number of homes for animals as well as personal choice and privacy. Limit laws are typically enforced through informant complaints — from neighbors, others with grievances or even visitors rather than systematic investigation of animal owners. The methods and forum of enforcement depends on the specific applicable law and to some extent, the local political climate and status of the parties and animals.

The United States Constitution promises all of us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and protections from wrongful seizures of personal property. For many Americans, companion animals are a very personal form of happiness. In fact many of us feel our pet companions are like our children.  Arbitrary removal of a family animal from a loving home for no logical reason, and then subjecting the same animal to diseases, including but not limited to, kennel cough, mental duress, emotional distress and/ or euthanasia at an animal shelter, can be construed to be in violation of our personal rights, thus justifying further damages in a court of law.
 
Furthermore, the First Amendment protects all individuals' right to religious liberty.  Many have bless me to continue doing what I'm doing because it's God's work. I  believe I have a personal obligation and a responsibility to protect and respect  these animals and is prepared to take it to a higher court if necessary.

The US Supreme Court and many State courts have ruled pet limits to be in violation of the United States Constitution for many of the reasons listed above:
 
In Louisiana, a judge ruled that "the ordinance violates residents' property rights",

The US Supreme Court has issued a series of decisions over the last several years that, taken as a whole, have elevated the rights of property owners to a limited degree versus State or city power. 
 
District Court Judge Thomas P. Knapp in Minnesota ruled, "The court finds that ownership of dogs and other pets is a property right which is protected by the Constitution, He said that the city failed to provide relevant evidence that the laws were needed. The plaintiffs are not required to comply with unconstitutional laws and thus were not obliged to obtain the unanimous approval of neighbors before keeping their dogs. Furthermore, the judge found that the Constitution does protect pet ownership. He declared the laws unconstitutional and enjoined the city from enforcement. (Holt v. City of Sauk Rapids, 1997).

In Pennsylvania an ordinance that limited residents to five pets was also ruled against. The judge quoted from Kadash v. City of Williamsport, 1975: "What is not an infringement upon public safety and is not a nuisance cannot be made one by legislative fiat and then prohibited. Even legitimate legislative goals cannot be pursued by means which stifle fundamental personal liberty when the goals can otherwise be more reasonably achieved." This was later supported by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. the following statute was cited: Municipal Corporations 589 268k589
"In reviewing law enacted pursuant to municipality's police power, court must determine that goal sought to be achieved is legitimate and that means used to achieve that goal are reasonably necessary and not unduly oppressive." (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Creighton, 1994)

Better Solutions Are Available.
Strongly enforced animal control laws, nuisance regulations requiring pet owners to be respectful of neighbors and society, and increased public education efforts are all better ways to address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership.
Effective leash and curbing laws would prevent irresponsible owners from letting their pets run loose, possibly endangering the public and other animals.
Clean-up ordinances, as well as noise, odor and nuisance regulations, would require all pet owners to take responsibility for their animals and recognize their obligations to society.
For those who do violate nuisance and laws, alternative sentencing in the form of community service at an animal shelter or participation in obedience classes would help correct irresponsible behavior.
Use of an arbitrator to mediate neighborhood animal disputes would help settle personal arguments that are not indicative of an animal control problem.
A public education campaign would help teach community residents how to properly care for and interact with pets, as well as the need to be a courteous neighbor.

please sign the petition and hare / repost - help spread the word. Our Gang Rescue's time is short. However we can prevent this violation of rights and discriminatory action towards other future household pets being forced into a homeless status and needing rescue

www.facebook.com/OurGangRescue

ourgangrescue@gmail.com

Letter to
Miami Township, Clermont County, Ohio - Trustees Ken.Tracy
Miami Township, Clermont County, Ohio - Trustees Karl Schultz
Miami Township, Clermont County, Ohio - Trustees Mary Makley Wolff
and 6 others
Miami Township Zoning Administator Lou Ethridge
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Ohio State House
Ohio State Senate
Ohio Governor
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Miami Township, Clermont County, Ohio - Trustees.

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Remove the 3 Pet Limitation on Single-Family Households less than 5 acres

Pet Limitation Violates Constitutional Rights - Saving Our Gang Rescue Dogs

I can not express my feelings enough for the disparagement I have towards the past Miami Township Council members for imposing onto the community their respectively concern for the health and safety of Miami Township residents through a three pet limit for homeowners with property less than five acres, as well to the current council members for keeping such a draconian law in their ordinances. The functionality of three pet limit for those under five acres is beyond the concept quality over quantity. There are households containing one pet who can/will not provide the more essential needs of a pet besides food and shelter. Whereas an individual who is/has devoted their time and effort maintaining to the well-being of animals in need.

Our Gang Rescue was formed in 2010 by a few friends who each found themselves saving homeless dogs. The joint effort was made to get a Petfinder page and veterinary account. Dogpatch Hollar at the Branch is the primary foster home for Our Gang Rescue’s adoptable dogs. I am not a hoarder containing dogs for my own mental gratification. I have had 9 successful adoptions remaining in forever homes, 1 returned adoption, and 1 returned foster. I believe rescue is a community effort. I have helped other rescues w/fostering, transporting and food. I have collected pet food, treats and toys for Meals on Wheels to help keep pets in loving homes. I have helped w/spaying & neutering of public pets. I have established with one Cincinnati’s best trainers a low cost pit bull and all breed training group classes. I have been advocating for years the rights of responsible pet owners as well as canine welfare. I have been doing all these things while facing some really hard times and with very little help. Our Gang Rescue is not 501(c)3 nor non-profit inc, but those statuses are changing this year. All operation has been funded thru out-of-pocket (regardless of non-employment / excessive health issues) monetary donations and gift contributions. I have professional contacts supporting the dreams of Our Gang Rescue via vets, trainers, and a business. I have plans to operate a functional rescue. Dogpatch Hollar at the Branch has been providing shelter/sanctuary/retirement to dogs that other rescues/shelters wouldn't accept. Dogpatch Hollar at the Branch does not believe in giving up on a dog. The dog will continuously receive love, care, and training while remaining at Dogpatch Hollar at the Branch. Every adoptable dog will live a joyful life until the right home/family comes around. Our Gang Rescue - it’s not about quantity; it’s about quality.

On Tuesday, March 27, 2012, I recently received a ‘Courtesy Violation Notice’ from Miami Township regarding being in violation of the three pet limit. I have been trying to place dogs in to loving, caring forever home, some have been in need of a home for over 2 years and Miami Township is giving 10 days to relocate homeless dogs.

I house my dogs within my home. They are not keep outside as residential dogs, all my dogs are treated as part of the family. This is to have the adoptable dogs accustomed to living in a house and the exception of being in a home. For my size of my house and plot of land, we all live comfortably well. I have seen dogs of one-dog families, dogs kept outside of the home, and dogs living on acreage not treated as well as I do mine.

I lost my job two years ago and have not been able to find sufficient employment to maintain established mortgage payment and am facing foreclosure. I already knew I had to move, as well as moving to have a better establishment for the rescue. This is the main reason why I am applying for a 501(c)3 status. Facing the move is hard enough, but now being shoved into a move is devastating. I can handle the lost of employment, the lost of a home, but now the lost of the dogs who I have passionately and devoted so much into has turned my world upside.

As I end my statement I want to thank those in society for not being responsible enough, compassionated enough, devoted enough, or educated enough towards companion animals. It is from your actions that have resulted in the overabundance of homeless pets needing rescued via breeding, neglect, abuse, or simply giving up. It is from these factors that I as well as many other have devoted our time and life to saving dogs. For those that think the simply solution is placing pets into shelters for adoption, apparently you haven’t gotten the memo – Not all animals are adopted or rescued out of shelters. For too many die. They are killed because they don’t do will living a shelter life, they are killed because they are deemed aggressive by the shelter workers, they are killed because they get sick at the shelters, but mostly they are killed because their time is up.

What’s wrong with limit laws? — Specific numbers are arbitrary, inflexible and do not reflect varied circumstances, capabilities and motivations of owners. Limits artificially restrict the number of homes for animals as well as personal choice and privacy. Limit laws are typically enforced through informant complaints — from neighbors, others with grievances or even visitors rather than systematic investigation of animal owners. The methods and forum of enforcement depends on the specific applicable law and to some extent, the local political climate and status of the parties and animals.

Myths about limit laws: • Limit laws prevent “overpopulation.” This is a controversial and pejorative term generally arising from an imbalance between animals in shelters and public demand for this source of animals. If anything, limit laws contribute to this imbalance rather than prevent it. • Limit laws prevent “nuisances.” Nuisances are a broad class of disturbances arising at a location that may interfere with the rights of one or more others. Varying numbers of animals can be kept with no offense at all. • Limit laws prevent “cruelty.” Cruelty comprises broad and expanding categories of offenses committed against animals, but prevention by absence of animals is extreme and unwarranted. • Limit laws prevent “hoarding.” Hoarding has been identified as one manifestation of psychiatric disorder involving obsessive-compulsive behavior unlikely to be prevented by laws.

AKC's Position Statement on the Right to Keep and Enjoy Dogs.
Regardless of their actions or the behavior of their animals. Responsible owners should be allowed to use their own discretion in determining the number of dogs they can keep on their own property.
A limit on the number of dogs one can own would restrict the many responsible breeders who raise and breed purebred dogs for the purpose of showing. These breeders make a serious commitment to their animals, not to make a huge profit, but instead with the intention of promoting the sport of purebred dogs and improving the individual breeds.
Limit laws would impact the many responsible fanciers who rescue unwanted animals and either personally adopt them as pets or find them permanent homes.

Several courts have agreed that limit laws are unjust. In 1994 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania struck down an ordinance enacted by the Borough of Carnegie that limited residents to five cats or dogs per household (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Creighton, 1994). Similarly, a two-dog limit in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota was challenged and ruled unconstitutional (Holt v. City of Sauk Rapids, 1997).

Better Solutions Are Available.
Strongly enforced animal control laws, nuisance regulations requiring pet owners to be respectful of neighbors and society, and increased public education efforts are all better ways to address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership.
Effective leash and curbing laws would prevent irresponsible owners from letting their pets run loose, possibly endangering the public and other animals.
Clean-up ordinances, as well as noise, odor and nuisance regulations, would require all pet owners to take responsibility for their animals and recognize their obligations to society.
For those who do violate nuisance and laws, alternative sentencing in the form of community service at an animal shelter or participation in obedience classes would help correct irresponsible behavior.
Use of an arbitrator to mediate neighborhood animal disputes would help settle personal arguments that are not indicative of an animal control problem.
A public education campaign would help teach community residents how to properly care for and interact with pets, as well as the need to be a courteous neighbor.

please sign the petition and hare / repost - help spread the word. Our Gang Rescue's time is short and soon to be up. However we can prevent this violation of rights and discriminatory action towards other future household pets being forced into a homeless status and needing rescue

www.facebook.com/OurGangRescue

ourgangrescue@gmail.com
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Sincerely,