Save the Sevier County Humane Society from Government Seizure
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“Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”
On July 1, 2018, Pets Without Parents, the only city- and county-funded animal shelter in Sevier County will cease operations. The Sevier County Humane Society has offered to step back into the role of taking in all unwanted animals in the county, but their proposal has been rejected by the Sevier County Budget Committee, despite SCHS adopting out 100 animals per month, providing low-cost spay and neuter solutions to the community, and developing robust foster and volunteer programs to promote animal welfare and prevent overcrowding. The Sevier County Budget Committee has instead recommended condemnation via eminent domain to seize the Sevier County Humane Society’s property and facilities.
Condemnation via eminent domain is widely criticized not just as an overreach of government authority, it directly undermines the economic successes granted by individual property rights. As a tourism-dependent community, Sevier County cannot thrive without governmental respect to individual property rights. The homeless animals of Sevier County deserve better, and the citizens of Sevier County deserve better.
We implore the city and county governments not to seize their property and facilities, but to instead work with the Sevier County Humane Society to find a solution to improve the current state of animal welfare in Sevier County. Despite past grievances, we believe the best solution can be reached when SCHS, an agency with a decades-long record of caring for homeless animals in the area, is given the ability to do what they do best- save animal lives.
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