Mandating number of pets allowed: County ire is misplaced

In response to the allegations against Joyce Woodall and her Love A Pet rescue: In a time when our country is in turmoil, unemployment and foreclosures are at an all-time high, businesses are closing everywhere you look, don’t our elected officials have more important issues than to go after a woman who only does good things for her community?

The news article stated that she was cited for “running a business out of her home.” The definition of a business in Webster’s dictionary is: A commercial activity engaged in as a means of livelihood or profit, or an entity which engages in such activities.

Anyone who has ever been involved in rescue knows they can’t do it for their “livelihood” and there certainly is no profit to be made. It’s usually monies out of their own pockets to cover the bills. True rescue groups are solely all-volunteer and run mostly on blood, sweat and tears.

I had the privilege of working with Ms. Woodall a few years ago. One day in particular will always be etched in my mind. It was a cold, drizzly morning when we got the call. I watched as she squeezed herself into a dank, muddy crawl space, under an old barn, to try to reach a terrified puppy that had been hit by a car. The owners of the property were very grateful, the puppy got extensive medical care and was eventually adopted to a loving family in Fayetteville.

The antiquated law of “only three pets per household” needs to be revised. Our former Animal Control head, Miguel Abi-Hassan, tried, but it evidently fell on deaf ears. If a family is responsible, cares for their animals, the animals are well-behaved and bother no one, then the family should be free to have these pets in their home, not limiting numbers within reason.

Pets are family members, more so today than in years past. Our pets have medical insurance, specialty vets, and some are even in our wills. Superstores just for animals are everywhere today. Our pets have the best of food varieties, elegant beds and some even their own wardrobe. People are very serious about their pets, proof being the millions of dollars spent annually on them.

Times have changed, as our laws need to. Joyce Woodall and all the people like her in rescue are trying their best to “clean up the mess” that irresponsible owners have left. Without people like Joyce, most of these animals would suffer and die.

So please, instead of giving her ultimatums, reach out your hand to thank her for all of her kindness and hard work, and ask her how can you help.

Sherry Mustic

Fayetteville, Ga.

RKS
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Joined: 07/23/2009
Well said, Sherry

Instead of binding the business of a woman who is NOT running a business, instead, doing the Shelter a favor by helping with our insane problem of homeless animals in this county, how about lending a helping hand?

manyhorses
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Joined: 05/26/2010
Love A Pet Rescue

I grew up in Fayette Co., my family has deep roots there, and I was outraged to read the charges against Joyce Woodall. As a staff member of one of the most highly regarded animal shelters in Virginia, I am very disappointed by the high-handed decision arrived at by Jack Smith. So perhaps others will question the 3 pet per property rule...maybe it SHOULD be questioned. How was it determined and by whom? What experience does Jack Smith have in animal rescue, control, and re-homing?
My childhood was often defined by the many animals who were dumped, literally, at our front gate, not far from Kenwood where Ms. Woodall operates her small rescue operation. Feral cat colonies generated in our barns and stables...unknown to us and mostly unseen until the pathetic imbred, deformed kittens were found.
Ms. Woodall does a great service to your community. Rather than castigate her, you should offer her assistance. She is helping to control the stray animal population as well as rabies and other diseases.
Educate yourself, Mr. Smith.

Joan Busey Hellandsjo

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