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City shouldn't regulate personal property: cats

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At a time when so many are demanding less government intrusion, Bemidji wants to debate constitutionally protected property be restricting the number of beloved pets one may own under the guise of "health and safety." This not only pits neighbor against neighbor, but vilifies law-abiding citizens for the crimes of a few! We already have enough laws on the books to protect the health and safety of our citizens, the city needs to enforce them and charge the criminals for their behavior. And not balance the budget on the backs of law-abiding property owners.

Restricting the prowling of cats will, and it has been proven to do so, allow an unfettered increase in rodents which carry far more disease to humans than do cats. Many laws set precedence for the freedom of cats as necessary to nature. While I personally don't like to see a feral cat, they are needed. Yes, Steve, squirrels and chipmunks are rodents, even though I think they are cute too. Birds also carry disease. Spay and neuter cats, but do not confine or restrict them!

With a new home on two acres, well fenced to protect my animals and pedestrians, there surely cannot be a "health and safety" issue with a dozen Chihuahuas romping playfully under my watchful eye! No sane person can say one Chihuahua is equal to a black Lab or pit bull in terms of noise, waste or bite. A dozen Chihuahuas don't equal a lab or a great Dane. Neutered or spayed, these animals are well cared for and very much a part of my family.

I have a right to own property (cats and dogs) when I can afford to do so and care for them and will not give up this right without due process. Why a city with financial problems wants to take on this legal issue that has failed elsewhere is beyond me. (1995, Sauk Rapids)

When government at any level starts to restrict property ownership in one area, other areas will follow. What will be restricted next --- trees, lawn chairs, guns or maybe like China, children? I do not want to be put in a position in the Land of Freedom to hide Ann Frank in my basement!

Zada Shindelar

Bemidji

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