Late last week the organization was paid a visit at its facility at 27th and Tracy by KCMO Animal Control and by KCMO Neighborhood Codes people. The two visits were not happy ones, resulting in 4 citations from Animal Control and a 15 day vacate order from Codes. They provide a perfect example of how a city can harass its citizens in an unhelpful way.
You can't have more than 4 adult animals in a residential home in KCMO; you can have as many young--less than 5 month old--baby animals as you can care for and maintain properly. AC decided that some puppies that Chain of Hope had were over 5 months--meaning that they were over the animal limit. Tickets resulted.
If you want to run a business out of a house in a residential area, you must get the approval of neighbors within a certain radius of the home. Chain of Hope was unable to do this--just one neighbor held out. (Side note: Why? In that neighborhood, you would take a chance on a new neighbor moving into that house? The chances of them being good neighbors is pretty slim. I'd take a bunch of well kept dogs over what could live there. Worse yet, the house could become vacant, which attracts animals far more annoying than dogs. Some of those animals have two feet...) They were maintaining the residential rules of keeping 4 grown animals or less, but Codes was upset because no one was "maintaining residence there." (Side note number two: Thanks stupid Code Enforcement bozo, for saying that on the public airwaves that someone is not in the house 24/7. Now, in order to maintain safety and preserve property, someone will have to be in the house 24/7. Preferably with a Concealed Carry Permit, a side arm and a big ass shot gun.)
It just seems to me that these two city departments went out of their way to be pains in the rear to Chains of Hope. In fact, to me, it served as a perfect model of how City Hall can harass you to death if they get it in their pea-pickin' thick bureaucratic skulls that they want to. I would bet that the City Codes inspector can find something wrong on the property of any this blog's readers if they really wanted to. Makes you wonder also, when people can hoard animals for years and repeatedly, and not get the sort of attention that Chain of Hope has.
Chain of Hope and AC are allies, not enemies--doesn't someone realize this? Both have roles to play to keep KCMO healthy and to assure that animals are treated humanely. This is just a bad scene here, and could have been dealt with in a much more cooperative manner.
One more question: The new group taking over the management of the Animal Shelter--are they going to have any say over how AC works--or are they going to end up fighting against this city department that is supposed to be working with them?
Two news agencies picked up the story:
Chain of Hope's web site with details of the City Hall rally noted below, and links to more details about the encounters with AC and Codes last week.
Rally today for Chain of Hope at City Hall, 12 noon.