First, a little background. My name is Angela Guilford.
My daughter Cassidy rescues cats and kittens from kill shelters in Florida. Though she is only 15 (and 14 when she began), she has rescued and homed over 60 cats and kittens this year.
She obtains the kittens with permission of an approved rescue (I am asked to sign for them as an adult), has them spay/neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, etc. and finds them good homes. Photos of her work here: http://www.facebook.com/HernandoCountyFriendsofAnimals
After a recent visit to our local kill shelter, Hernando County Animal services (HCAS), we became aware of wrongdoing by the kill shelter staff. They were moving certain dogs (cute, fluffy, or expensive ones especially) away from the facility to a business down the street as early as ONE day after they arrived, instead of holding the pets for 5 days so that their rightful owners (and family!) could find and reclaim them. This is a clear violation of local law and possibly Florida State Law regarding the handling of lost property. Here is a link to a page containing a link to the local ordinance: http://bit.ly/YHBlg2
I made note to the kill shelter staff that this was a violation of local law, and that it was unfair to the pet owner and county taxpayer. The HCAS staff was clearly angered when I pointed out the violation of law. I then started to leave. After I had gone out the door, I realized that I was holding a HCAS pen in my hand with my paperwork folder. Not wanting to inadvertently take their pen, I turned, held the door with my arm carrying the folder, leaned in towards the counter, and gently tossed the pen onto the counter.
A Brooksville Police Officer, Officer Bridges called me a while later. He immediately began to berate me, made threats of arrest and did not ask for or listen to my side of the story. I highly suspect that the harassing officer knows HCAS and/or Animal Control Officers (who are also Sheriff's Deputies) personally, is therefore biased in their favor, and was unable and/or unwilling to investigate in an objective manner.
I called Brooksville Police Dept and complained to Sergeant Mader about the Officer's bad conduct, and complained that HCAS had apparently made a grossly exaggerated report to the police about me, obviously in retaliation for questioning HCAS's unlawful acts.
A week later I discovered that HCAS had made additional false statements to police about me, this time more serious in nature. They stated that I had received kittens without permission (ironic, since permission for us to do so had been obtained by HCAS staff themselves) and even worse, that I had possibly solicited donations pretending to be someone else. Their false and malicious reports to police had no basis in truth, and were clearly retaliatory in nature.
I called both Brooksville Police Department and Hernando Sheriff's Office and inquired about the false statements and the bogus "investigation". Both claimed to have no record of a report or investigation.
Last night, I was arrested at my home, in front of my children, for gently tossing a pen onto a counter.
I hope there will not be additional arrests caused by HCAS staff's malicious and intentional false statements to police in retaliation for my questioning of their unlawful and unethical handling of residents' pets (and family members!).
Please help me in demanding that Hernando County BOCC, Hernando Sheriff's Office, Brooksville Police Department, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement conduct a thorough and objective investigation into HCAS wrongdoing, including the unlawful handling and conversion (theft) of residents' (taxpayers) pets, and the malicious prosecution of a whistleblower. I hope they will investigate this matter thoroughly and prevent further harm to myself and my children, to pets and to pet owners, (or to others) by HCAS staff and their overzealous and corrupt law enforcement buddies.
HCAS staff has sadly destroyed Cassidy's opportunity to save local kittens from death . :(
Sincerely, Angela Guilford
VINDICATED!!! Judge THREW OUT CHARGE!!! There was no intent (it was accidental). Hernando County Animal Services made bogus charge that was a "WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY".
WITNESS TESTIMONY: HCAS Veterinarian Dr Raul Figarola was behind bogus charges. Became angry after he and his girlfriend were exposed for removing taxpayers' pets during hold time & giving them out as perks to build their vet & grooming business.
ADDITIONAL STEPS TO TAKE: PLEASE SIGN PETITION ASKING FOR INVESTIGATION OF THEFT OF TAXPAYERS PETS.
IN A NUTSHELL:
1) Residents (taxpayers) should have a reasonable chance to become reunited with their lost pets. Pet owners should not have their pets adopted out immediately to others. We need transparency on this at all times, and HCAS should not be playing favorites and politics with people's hearts while other animals suffer in their care.
2) County Government should serve the residents and taxpayers, not themselves and their friends. (Self Dealing)
3) Law Enforcement must not be used as a tool against Hernando County Residents through malicious prosecution for personal vendettas. HCAS and Local Law Enforcement should not engage in malicious prosecution of a whistleblower. The misuse of Local Law Enforcement to attack and punish a whistleblower is unacceptable.
4) State Law Enforcement must investigate HCAS, Brooksville Police Department, and Hernando Sheriff's Office as the HCAS Animal Control Officers are Sheriff's Deputies and therefore have a conflict of interest. They should not be allowed to investigate themselves.
HERNANDO COUNTY- THE WORLD IS WATCHING YOU!
WARNING FOR HERNANDO COUNTY RESIDENTS & PET OWNERS: http://exposinghernandocountyanimalservices.blogspot.com/p/if-you-lost-your-pet-recently-in_1.html
READ STORY ON BLOGSPOT: http://exposinghernandocountyanimalservices.blogspot.com
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Thank You So Much! <3 Angela
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