Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA
PG Adopt-A-Classroom -- Compassion Watch TV
Holistic Health Care for Pets -- No Kill Prince George's County, MD
November 21, 2011
Mr. Rushern L. Baker, III
Cheverly, MD 20785
Dear Mr. Baker and Family,
At our County Executive Candidate Forum in June 2010, I was impressed when you told that members of your family looked forward to seeing and feeding "the neighborhood cat". Several studies have attempted to determine the degree to which at least one member of a household regularly feeds an outdoor homeless cat. Results have found that from 10% to 30% of all households exercise compassion in this way. I wanted to let you know that your family can now do this without having to look over your shoulders to be sure that an Animal Control Officer is not watching.
Although there is no prohibition in the Statute against feeding an outdoor animal, Animal Control Officers have been telling county residents that this activity is illegal, and in many cases, it has led to Incident/Investigation Reports, Warnings, Citations, and fines, sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars. Of course, when the government prohibits an activity that is legal, that is a violation of the citizen's constitutional rights.
When we informed Rodney Taylor, who is currently the Administrator of Animal Management, that we could find no statutory prohibition against feeding, he simply responded that it was our own interpretation of the statute, but would never actually point out the section of the statute that prohibited feeding. Animal Control Officers under his direction continued to tell county residents that feeding is illegal.
When we determined that there was no other way to resolve this issue, Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA filed suit against the county for unconstitutional enforcement of the Statute. On November 10, 2011, a judge in the circuit court agreed with us that there is no prohibition against feeding.
Please encourage the Good Samaritans in your household to engage in compassion. You should no longer have to fear that an Animal Control Officer will falsely accuse them of violating the statute. I would extend one bit of caution, however. Rodney Taylor and those under his leadership have never felt constrained by the law, so it is entirely possible that they may continue to engage in this unconstitutional activity. Rest assured, however, if they should tell any member of your family, or anyone else that you know, that feeding is illegal, you can call Prince George's Feral Friends, SPCA, at 301-262-6452, and we will seek an immediate Restraining Order on your behalf.
/s/ Tim Saffell
Timothy W. Saffell,
Candidate Rushern Baker, in June 2002, promised to "get the right people working at the shelter", and we need to let him know that, as County Executive, it is time to live up to his promise. It is obvious that Rodney Taylor must be fired or at least transferred out of Animal Management. Samuel Wynkoop apparently more interested in preserving long-time friendships than improving outcomes at the Animal Services Facility. He must be moved out of the way. Bradford Seamon must begin to manage based on performance rather than membership in the "good old boy" network.
We have over 800 signatures on our petition to ask Mr. Baker to "Get the right people on the bus." We would like to present him with a petition with 1,000 signatures on it. Will you please help us reach that goal? If you have not signed the petition,please do so. If you have already signed the petition, send an email message, make a phone call, or write a letter to the addresses below. Please forward this message to those that you know would prefer to see more animals saved, rather than killed at the Prince George's County Animal Services Facility.
While a candidate,
Please sign the petition, and then please
follow up with a letter or a phone call
Rushern L. Baker III, County Executive
Bradford Seamon, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Phone: (301) 952-4547
County Administration Building, Suite 5032
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-3070
Timothy W. Saffell is President of Prince George's Feral Friends, SPCA, PO Box 1036, Bowie, MD 20718 (301-262-6452, www.PGFerals.org)
He is also the producer of Compassion Watch TV, available on the internet at www.CompassionWatch.org .
Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, working to protect the people and animals of Prince George's County. It is supported by donations from individuals. Donations are tax-deductible.
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