AreaVibes doesn't seem to believe in PARAGRAPHS. These posts are much easier to read on Blography of a Southern Writer, which contains pictures and EVIDENCE.Brevity isn't my strong suit. I'm more about documenting and being thorough. I'm not sure how far back to go because this saga has been going on for a while now. You know I already have several cats of my own. I also took in two special needs cats (FIV and leukemia) which must be quarantined from my own. I'm a responsible "pet owner," and all of mine are spayed and neutered. I also rescue cats. It started with Jane Austen, whom I rescued from a storm drain, and later found her kittens under a shed. Thanks to New Beginnings, the kittens all found homes and Jane went on to have a sweet and cushy life, dearly loved by (redacted).Then some time late this summer, I can't recall exactly when, I woke one rainy morning to find another mama cat and her kittens in my shed. I live in a town where the shelter won't accept cats (unless brought there by law enforcement), and there's a town ordinance that states, "If you feed it, it's yours." Well, fine. For the life of me, I can't understand why, if you see something running for its life, scared, hungry and alone, you wouldn't give it a meal and a place to rest. If you wouldn't, then I think there's something seriously wrong with you. I have gone several rounds with animal control over what I perceive as a poorly run shelter with some lazy employees. I have had many conversations with our illustrious mayor about it. He usually follows up soon afterward with a picture in the local paper of himself holding a small animal, or posing with the shelter employees. When he is contacted with questions about what to do with the cats that citizens unwittingly become responsible for, he refers them to shelters in other towns. Those shelters only take cats from their own towns, so it's a Catch 22. I don't blame those shelters. They are all over-crowded and under-funded, and every day I applaud their efforts, especially Southaven, Hernando and Tunica, most of all. Knowing full well the shelter would not accept this current crop of kittens, I took them there, just to document that I tried. I then took them to the mayor's office and got the usual run-around. Then I brought them home and continued to feed them. I made a safe, warm, comfortable place for them in the shed, and ran an extension cord to it for a heating pad. For safety reasons all heating pads automatically turn off after two hours, so all winter long I have set my alarm and gotten up every two hours to turn it back on for them. I'm tired. I had already imposed on New Beginnings for help with Jane and probably burned my bridges with them when they temporarily lost her, so this time I asked for help from DeSoto County Rescue Society (DARS). They were wonderful, and paid for every single one of them to be spayed or neutered and brought some good quality food which fed them for a while. Not having a car, I was unable to participate in any adoption events they may have had. I never even heard of any. When I asked my sponsor if my kitties could go to PetSmart, from where a majority of these cats are adopted, I was told no, "because they don't like to be held." Nothing could be further from the truth. They crave affection, but they are wary of strangers. Jane Austen was terrified of strangers but she was adopted and now has a wonderful life. So here I am months later, still trying to find homes for these cats, and I must say that I am very hurt that some of you who live in my area couldn't be bothered to share their picture to help. When these kittens grew, they climbed up on the fence and got in a tree to hunt. They also got on one neighbor's roof. She was very nice about it, and I'm grateful to her. But the neighbors on the other side are not so nice. I had previously had words with one who left her gorgeous yellow Lab outside in 12 degree weather overnight. I had tried to gently educate her about dogs and weather conditions. I bought him a nice bed for Christmas, but she wouldn't let him have it. I offered to help if I could. And finally I told her if she left him outside in those freezing conditions that I would call the police. She did and I did. So there's that. Next door to her is the neighbor who is my current problem. Lab lady made a comment to me about this guy. I went to his house and asked him if he was having a problem with my cats, would he like to talk about it, did he have anything he wanted to tell me? He said no.He used to work for the local P.D. Now he works for the Desoto County Sheriff's Department. According to someone who knows him well, but whose name I shall protect, he's been a problem for many years. According to another person, his nickname is Stinky Steve. If you saw the pictures I posted of his backyard, you would see why. One night, Stephen Raines, that's his real name, pounded on our door. He said that a black and white cat had run across his deck and his dog broke through the glass storm door trying to get it. All my cats were in the house. I know the cat he's talking about. It's a sweet stray that roams our neighborhood and I figure steals what food he can from the foster / shed cats. That doesn't mean I'm feeding him or that he's mine. He said that he was going to set traps and catch my cats. Any idjit knows that if you bait a trap that an animal is going to come, and he managed to get two of the shed kitties. Maybe he should consider training his dog. And cleaning up after it, thank you. After I posted the pictures of his yard, he cleaned it. To backtrack for a second, I have to tell you that I came home one day just in time to see Dan Smith, head of animal control, and his posse, get out of their truck and start chasing one of my personal cats who was sitting under the tree in MY yard, minding her own business and not bothering anyone. He said he had received a call. Someone continued to call them just about every day. I suspect it was either the Lab lady or Steve (remember the backstabber referred to previously?). When he would come, he wouldn't find any cats because mine weren't outside and the shed kitties were all in the shed napping. On one occasion he found one of the special needs cats sitting on a lawn chair sunning himself. He sits there all day (in nice weather) with a blanket over him and doesn't move from that spot. Ever. And I know this because I am sitting inside the house watching him as I work. If I thought there was any chance at all of him going off and spreading his diseases, he wouldn't be out there. Eventually, it seemed Dan Smith had softened and was a pretty good guy. He even gave me a bag of cat food and told me he wouldn't mess with my kitties. Although I can't forget seeing him chase Lulu, I was all for extending the olive branch of peace. Nevertheless, I continue to be wary of people who SAY one thing and DO another, and now I know my wariness was justified because the two kittens that Steve trapped were accepted into the shelter. The remaining cats are in a safe place, but I cannot continue to keep them. HERE'S WHAT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING TO HEAR: There's a fence that separates my yard from Steve's and the Lab lady's yard. Lab lady has a somewhat new fence, and it doesn't join my fence IN ANY WAY. There's a space of about eight inches between them. My fence is attached to MY house. I couldn't see giving Steve the convenience of using my fence to contain his dogs when he's being an ass and trapping my cats. So I went out and removed four of the boards. He called the police. An hour later, he bought new boards and replaced them on MY fence! I called the police. The police tried to intimidate and bully me. A week later, which was last Monday, the police knocked on my door and arrested me. The charges are Disturbing the Peace and Malicious Mischief over $1000, which is a federal offense and carries a sentence of 5 years in a federal penitentiary. I spent more than eight hours in jail. I was stripped naked, made to squat with my knees spread, and cough. Fun times. The lawyer will cost $1500. On top of that, I think Steve is probably trying to sue me. I am waiting for the post office to deliver a certified letter I've been unable to pick up. I'm going to have to fork out $500 to have someone come out and do a survey. In addition to all that, my ex just bought a car and parked it on my driveway. Turns out that he has to apply for a lost title. The town came by a few days ago and ticketed it. I called them and told them what's going on with it. Today there is a new ticket that states unless it is licensed and inspected in two days, they're going to tow it. Do you think I'm being harassed? I have lived in eight major cities and a dozen small towns and this is the most fucked up place I have ever been. Small town Southern politics. Three months later, Steve had my husband arrested for trespassing because he went to talk to him in February. A sign on the door said not to knock or ring the bell, to just go away, which he did. When our lawyer, Brian Horan, left us in court to fend for ourselves so that he could take his kid to karate class, the prosecuting attorney refused to press charges against Raines saying that because a few months had passed, that our charges were "disingenuous." New update coming soon.
Welcome to Horn Lake, Mississippi AgainI am not at all satisfied with the answers I am getting from the new animal control director, so I will take this matter public. After three written attempts to get help, one face-to-face attempt, and a phone call with the new director, Dan Smith, I feel it is necessary to publish a copy of my latest letter to him here. Dear Mr. Smith,As I’m sure you have heard by now, there are some issues with the Horn Lake Animal Shelter that I’d like to discuss with you. I understand you are the new director and have inherited whatever problems exist there, and that you will need some time to discover what they are and how to fix them. As someone relatively new to rescuing, I am at a loss about some of them myself, and would appreciate both alerting you to what I see as some of issues, and receiving a reply regarding them.My first issue is to question that countywide decree that “If you feed it, it’s yours.” First of all, I’d like to know if this is a law, and if so, please quote the statute so that I may look it up.Secondly, I’d like to challenge the soundness of this decree. I recently rescued a literally starving cat and her kittens from a storm drain. It appears that someone had tossed her out; she was scared and desperate. I was told by one of the shelter workers that they aren’t taking in cats; they have no room. So what should I have done? Should I have left her to starve? Should I have returned her once I’d gained her trust and brought her and her kittens home to keep them safe? I already have a number of cats of my own (all spayed and neutered, thank you), feed two ferals (one I have tamed to make her suitable for adoption), and cannot possibly keep more. So, if an animal needs to be rescued, but there's no room at the inn, what good will it do to call animal control to have it picked up? What will happen to it other than being euthanized because there's nowhere to shelter it? The next issue is regarding the shelter hours. As I understand it, the shelter is open Mon - Fri. I think that most families hoping to adopt a pet try to do it on Saturday, when they aren't working and aren't in school. Wouldn't a lot more animals be adopted if the shelter was open on the day that people are most likely to go there? It seems to me that’s a lot of input without much output. Why would you not be open on the one day that would be most helpful to the animals? The next is the inability of the public to volunteer.I know all about the issues from last year with the POLICE OFFICER / STARVE THAT DOG issue. It was a year ago. How long are you going to let that affect the rest of the animals? Time to move on.One of your employees told me another reason is that the volunteers try to run things. First of all, the shelter doesn't belong to the shelter employees, or even to the town. It belongs to the public, paid for by taxpayer dollars. But, okay, I can see the need for some control. Why not just have one of the employees organize and supervise them? Then if the volunteers don’t like their assignments, they don’t have to return. Don’t make the animals suffer because someone feels her authority is challenged.The mentality of certain people there (not all) seems to be "can't do." They have an excuse for everything, as far as I can tell. In a short conversation last weekend, all I heard was why they can’t do this, can’t do that. I’ll come back to this one.The next issue is lack of follow-through. When I first rescued this cat and discovered that there was no room for her at the shelter, I started searching online for what to do next because I cannot keep her (I also now consider the shelter a last resort). I was told that it was fine (great, even!) to foster this cat myself, and that the shelter would help advertise her availability. They said to send pictures to the shelter by email and gave me the email address. I sent them immediately. The pictures were never posted. When I asked about this over the weekend, the employee told me that either a) she was unable to open the pictures (they were jpg), or b) they were the wrong size, or c) she wrote back stating that she was having a problem with them. I never heard back, and I would appreciate it very much, please, if you would search the shelter’s email history and verify that the attempt to contact me was actually made, because I don’t believe it.d) I don’t know if you’re aware, but an individual can’t get an animal’s profile on Petfinders without going through the shelter. Precious weeks have passed while the highly adoptable kittens have grown, every day less adoptable.(I eventually posted a picture to the shelter Facebook page myself, but still can’t get on Petfinders.)And that returns me to the shelter employee’s “can’t do” mentality.Some of the shelter employees aren't at all pro-active. Instead of engaging the public at the adoption event over the weekend, one was too busy reading a book. I love books. I'm a writer, and I'm all for books! But not when an animal's life and future is at stake. When you have an adoption event, you need to be working on getting those animals adopted. When at work, you need to be working.I also think that you need to get the animals closer to the people, not so far away that people don't even see them! I went into the football crowd to try to rouse interest, and even when I pointed out the awning, some people still couldn't see it. I was told that the animals aren’t set up close to the public because they will get too excited. But by not doing so, it sends the message that they aren’t socialized. I think y’all could learn a lot from some of the rescue groups, such as the one having an event on the 19th. And that brings me to another issue that isn’t the fault of the shelter, the director, or the employees, but maybe one you should be aware of all the same. With attitudes like this from some of the individuals who rescue / foster towards the general public like me who don’t normally do so, and who don’t know the ins and outs of it, and ask for advice, are not helpful. This was one of the nicer ones. (If you're reading this, I'm sorry, but you'll have to go to the blog to see the comments which couldn't be embedded here.)Thank you very much for your time and attention, Mr. Smith. I look forward to hearing from you regarding these matters.Sincerely,Unfortunately, I never heard back from this man after three letters, a face-to-face with the shelter employees, and a phone call. I didn't hear back from him until I had to call the mayor, Allen Latimer, who seems to be a nice man. And when I talked to the new animal control director, all I got was more "can't do."Please visit the My Name is Jane Austen Facebook Page and begin at the bottom, where details are given that inspired me to begin the page in the first place. https://www.facebook.com/My-Name-is-Jane-Austen-551118924953287/ UPDATE: Someone kindly sent me a link to this blog article on the investigation of animal abuse at the shelter. Please report it, should it become broken. Thanks. https://yesbiscuit.com/2012/10/18/we-will-not-tolerate-the-abuse-of-any-animal-huge-asterisk/UPDATE IN NOVEMBER 2016: I can no longer support Mayor Latimer. Yes, he's nice on the surface, but is maddeningly OBTUSE about many issues in this town. He wants the glory of the job, but fails to make any constructive changes. He makes a BIG SHOW about how much he loves animals whenever there is criticism about the shelter, but he only loves HIS animals. He doesn't give a damn about yours or anyone else's.
Welcome to Horn Lake, Mississippi where we’re sanctioned to vandalize your car. We’re serious about our parking ordinances in Horn Lake; so serious that we skip the courtesy notice and fair warning, and go straight to defacing your property. After all, you should have known you’re not allowed to park on your own grass. How long have you lived in Horn Lake? A month? A month is plenty long enough to acquaint yourself with our local ordinances. Don’t you go to the town meetings? Haven’t you stopped by City Hall to research all the possible laws you might be breaking just by living in Horn Lake? Well, too bad for you, then. Paper tickets under the windshield wiper? Why, yes, we’ve heard of them, but those are too easy to ignore, too easy to throw away. We really want your attention! The cop next door to you had us come out and post the entire street corner by his house as a No Parking Zone, so on-street parking is forbidden. Then there’s that fire hydrant you can’t block between the corner and the only four feet of grass that’s yours, so don’t have anyone over to visit unless you can talk a neighbor into letting them park in his or her driveway, because there just isn’t anywhere else. You might try the edge of the park one street over. Just don’t let us catch you there. You also can’t bike, rollerblade, or skateboard there. God knows The South, and Horn Lake, in particular, is famous for the residents being tubs of lard so no exercise in the park! No fun! It’s forbidden. We must keep our reputation for being an ignorant bunch of hicks at all cost! Now go move your car before we tow it off. And welcome to Horn Lake, Mississippi. Thinking of moving to Horn Lake? There are more posts you might want to read before finalizing that decision! You can find them on Blography of a Southern Writer. Not sure links are allowed here, so just google it. Lots of pictures, lots of details. I write about my experiences here. Yours may be different.. Elvis Presley Priscilla Presley Graceland Circle G ranch honeymoon 1974 divorce destin, florida allen latimer allan latimer davage "buddy" runnels, jr goodman road horn lake Mississippi 301 5003405 Edenshire Horn Lake 3405 Edenshire Horn Lake 3405 Edenshire Horn Lake 3405 Edenshire Horn Lake 3405 Edenshire Horn Lake 3405 Edenshire Horn Lake 3405 Edenshire Horn Lake500 acres first phase betting the ranch horn lake chamber of commerce cottages stables senior living hotel housing shopping lake outdoor music go-kart racing convention center elvis museum golf course restaurant concert auditorium high-rise towers biggest thing to hit mississipi since Nissan branson, mo las vegas African American population top 10 list top ten cities grown 12 percent anita rainey don Wilkinson Desoto county Mississippi rodger motz varina hopper gary rikard federal ozone standards elvis circle g ranch davage runnels davage runnels, jr. buddy runnels betting the ranch