|Sent on:||Wednesday, August 15, 2012 10:09 AM|
Dear Friends and Fellow Animal Lovers,
As many of you know, residents of the City of Kenner have been discouraged, threatened, and even cited for feeding stray animals, even feral cats who are members of a managed, sterilized colony, within the city limits. Several years ago, the city passed an ill-advised and poorly-worded ordinance that made it a criminal act to feed an animal at large. Several months ago, Catherine Reese was cited for creating a public nuisance by feeding her own cat, who was outside at the time!
Ms. Reese was charged for violating Section 4-12, which prohibits the feeding of animals-at-large, and ordered to appear in court. Luckily, Bridgette Piatoly, a prominent attorney and fellow animal advocate, agreed to represent Ms. Reese and recently filed an injunction to prohibit the city from enforcing Section 4-12 of the City of Kenner code. Pleadings filed by Ms. Piatoly challenge the constitutionality of the ordinance as failing to satisfy procedural due process, for being overly broad and vague, and for discriminating against those who express their religious beliefs by feeding and caring for hungry, homeless animals. Our humane society is supportive of this lawsuit and has been named as a plaintiff.
However, to strengthen our case and to show that residents have been harmed or hindered by this ordinance, we need Kenner residents to come forward. In the words of Ms. Piatoly, we need the following individuals to contact us within the next few days:
1) Feeds "at-large" animals in Kenner; and/or 2) Would like to feed "at-large" animals, but is afraid of violating the criminal ordinance prohibiting feeding of "at-large" animals in Kenner; and/or 3) Has been charged with violation of this ordinance.
The person would be asked to serve as a witness at the trial on August 23, 2012, at 9:00 a.m., at the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson in Gretna. We need help from the membership to strike down this cruel ordinance, which makes it a crime in Kenner to feed ANY stray cat or dog. This is a cruel ordinance designed to "starve-out" the lost, stray, and feral animals who face a cruel life on the street and, also, to stop the legitimate efforts of individuals and organizations who volunteer their own money and time to perform trap/neuter/release operations in Kenner. Further, the ordinance is a violation of a person's constitutional right to act in accordance with one's own conscience and interferes with freedom of expression and other constitutional rights. Therefore, anyone who wants to help in the fight please contact the HSL at [address removed]. If you have questions, please call us at[masked]-HUMANE.
Jeff Dorson Executive Director