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home : latest news : regional October 13, 2015

2/1/2013 6:01:00 AM
Last chance for animal shelter?
Case begins that might determine if the shelter remains open
JC AMBERLYN/MinerA dog greets visitors from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, Western Arizona Humane Society and the Mohave County Environmental Health Division, as well as  two veterinarians, all of whom inspected the Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation animal shelter in Golden Valley in March.

A dog greets visitors from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, Western Arizona Humane Society and the Mohave County Environmental Health Division, as well as two veterinarians, all of whom inspected the Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation animal shelter in Golden Valley in March.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Supporters of the Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation in Golden Valley are wondering if the animal sanctuary is on the last of its nine lives.

Another chapter in the foundation's three-year battle with Mohave County started Thursday, when RUFFF owner Hillarie Allison went before Mohave County Superior Court to fight a requirement that she use sand as the flooring material in her kennels.

That's what she's been ordered to do by the county, which has separately sought an injunction to shut the shelter down.

Depending on how the case goes, she could win this round, be required to use sand (which she says is bad for the animals) - or have to close, leaving the fate of as many as 200 animals up in the air.

Some of the testimony Thursday was tense.

Allison called Rachel Patterson, the Mohave County Environmental Health Manager, to the stand for one such exchange.

Allison asked Patterson about the conversation they had about choosing proper flooring for the kennels.

"We talked about a lot of different types of flooring - cement, sand, pavers - I don't remember all of the different types we talked about. We were kind of brainstorming to come up with a viable solution for RUFFF," Patterson said.

"And I delivered different samples of sand and gravel to you?" Allison asked.

"Yes, you delivered them to us on May 24," Patterson said.

"Do you have anything in writing with my signature on it agreeing to what you had chosen?" Allison said.

"No," Patterson said.

Allison then asked Patterson to point out where in the county's kennel ordinance it lists specific flooring requirements for outdoor kennels.

Patterson said the ordinance does not specify requirements for outdoor kennels. It states that kennels, including the flooring, must be made of durable materials.

Allison then asked Patterson if she could tell the difference between sand and dirt in three photos of kennels at three different animals sanctuaries - For the Luv of Paws, RUFFF and HALT.

"On first glance, I can't see the difference, but bedding sand is very fine," Patterson said.

Allison has been fighting to get a zoning use permit and a kennel permit from the county since she was cited for not having valid permits in 2010. She has met all of the county's requirements except putting sand in the kennels.

In addition to claiming that sand is harmful, Allison has said it would cost $40,000 to install sand in the kennels.

On Thursday, she presented testimony from two veterinarians and two other animal sanctuary owners, none of whom use sand, to back up her claim.

Testimony in the case will resume on Monday.

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• RUFFF returns to Planning and Zoning agenda
• RUFFF, Mohave County not happy with ruling

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Article comment by: Exotic Heritage Cat Association of America

Isn't it interesting how, when RUFFF wins its case, there is not a word about it in the Daily MIner? Where were those DM reporters in Court on Monday when the Judge ruled in RUFFF's favor?

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Article comment by: Betsy - GAP Force - Guardian Angels of Pets

10% of proceeds goes to RUFFF on SUNDAY 17 FEBRUARY at CALICO'S RESTAURANT, downtown Kingman. Help celebrate the RUFFF Victory and thank Hillarie for standing-up for the welfare, of not only her critters, but for all of our critters too!

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Article comment by: Hillarie, you are the Woman!

County Prosecutor probably should have considered "frivolous" in determining whether to take this case to court. YAY RUFFF! Hillarie, my congratulations to you for continuing your fight and winning, despite all the obstacles thrown at you by unreasonable people backed by the power of the County. As a 'thank you' to Hillarie, perhaps each of us should consider a donation for the purchase of pet food, veternarian expenses, etc., because she is likely needing funds after using her resources fighting this court action. If not to RUFFF, I'm sure a donation to any pet rescue would be appreciated.

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Betsy - GAP Force - Guardian Angels of Pets

Unbelievably, County Prosecutor argues with Judge about his decision. Unprofessionally, she stomps down hallway yelling at RUFFF supporters "I'm just doing my F'ING job"

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Lhasa Lady

Has anyone thought about how damaging to the animals sand can be? It will get in their eyes, pack into their paws, work it's way into their fur, get into their food and water. Also, sand has silica in it, would be just like glass particles on their feet. What a waste of time and money tormenting this poor lady. Why don't you donate the money spent on this farce to the sanctuary and help instead of hinder!

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: The Average Joe

@ Rick Shelby

Well said Sir!!! Yes why doesn't the County Come up with a SOLUTION & help the Overpopulation of the Animals in this area? Why do these County Officials keep Beating on the Animal Advocates who are helping the Animals?

In my Opinion, the County Officials & Western AZ Humane Society just want Job Security. The Head Cheeses do not care about the Animals at all. The more they get in or have to handle the more Fees these Agencies MAKE and the BIGGER the Salaries are for the People at the Top!! The Poor Underlings who have to Euthanize the Animals Day In & Day Out are the ones only making just above min. wage.

ATTN: To the People of Mohave County Spay/Neuter your Pets!! Reduce the Numbers of Unwanted Litters & put all these Agencies out of Business!!

Posted: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Article comment by: Rick Shelby

Rather than harass shelters that are helping the community, Mohave County should welcome the help. County run Animal Control does not provide the level of service required, not only here in Mohave County, but everywhere. The County employee's should put aside their ego's and stop wasting our money harrasing good hearted, volunteer community servants.

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: Denise Bensusan

Hillary....God bless you and SHAME ON MOHAVE COUNTY!

We need a required spay and neuter program which would correct most of these issues and the sand issue is simply ridiculous.

PLEASE...anyone and everyone show up Feb.. 4th at 8:30 a.m. at court to support Hillary and RUFF! The more citizens that show their disgust for the way this has been handled the better.

Bring your signs if you like and lets stand together in unison for what is right, humane and honorable!

Denise Bensusan ..

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Kapica

Lets rescue the animals from the Kingman kill shelter and put them out of business. They want to get control of the animals in the no kill shelters, so they can kill them. Leave these shelter be and the animals that live in them alone. They are not being abused in anyway.
What kind out ground is under there paws don't matter wild animals make out o.k. on the Arizona desert dirt so give it up.

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: Penny Renfro

If this isn't a prime example of Mohave County taxpayers having funds wasted I don't know what is, goodness leave this Zero Kill Animal Santuary alone !!!

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: WATCH DOG !!!

We wouldn't have all these unwanted dogs and cats if people would just spay or neutered their animals then we wouldn't need all the rescues....anyone think of that? Rather than someone having way to many animals to take care.

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: Robbin Hyde

Hillary is a wonderful woman who has given everything she's got to these animals when everyone else just dumped them. These animals have feelings also. I have adopted to date over 30 unwanted and dumped animals who people just don't want anymore. Help her fix the problem or leave her the heck alone!!! Lots of people over here in Lake Havasu have jumped into help her and we love these animals.
She has given everything she has for these beautiful animals leave her alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: County Over-Stepping or Stepping-On?

Any governmental entity should never give the appearance of favoritism, impropriety, or malfeasance----, but this issue they are making with Rufff, and a few others recently, certainly give me the impression they are doing just that!
The County's answer to taking care of unadoptable, abandoned pets is to euthenize them, rather than to allow compassionate volunteers to take the necessary time and effort to humanely care for and get them adopted out. Whether to use natural sand or natural dirt in the animals' cages should be the decision of the rescue in conjunction with the veternarian. Back off County!

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

How about taking some of the money used filing charges to repair the sorry roads we have. These idiots called County Supervisors need to start rebuilding Mohave County and cut out the foolish crap you are doing,. In fact, do the job you were elected to do and stop trying to find stupid things to spend our money on. Maybe an impeachment of all the monkeys would help to make things better. I have never lived in an area where the infrastructure was as bad as Mohave County or Kingman.

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: A Better Solution

I have a better idea! Why don't we move the animals to the county jail and send the inmates to live in the animal shelter? It works for Sheriff Joe! Besides, the animals are innocent victims and deserve TV and and other amenities more than the criminals we are wasting our tax dollars on!

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Judy Fien

A two year old can figure this out, The ordinance in effect does not require sand,The ordinance the county tried to cram down our throats was defeated.What more is there to say, Give the sanctuary her permits.

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Rachel T.

Hillarie, I applaud you and appreciate all you do to give these animals a home. You should be given a medal...not harassed! The taxpayers money is wasted in court costs!. Mohave County should direct their time to acquiring a Spay & Neuter law...makes sense to me! Remember we are their voice as they cannot speak for themselves...its all about the animals!

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Gabby B

My apology to Hillarie.... I always spell your name wrong.
That being said.... you always have my support in taking in and caring for these animals!

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Gabby B

I don't understand why the county keeps their vigilant harassment of these shelters. What is so wrong with working with these shelters to keep animals alive and healthy until a good forever home is found for them? Instead they continue to make it difficult for these shelters to fulfill their missions... taking care of animals until a better solution is found for them!
The county spends so much money on finding ways to try to shut them down. Wouldn't the money be better spent in finding solutions to the problem of pet overpopulation?
The county has spent money on filing a criminal complaint against Kristen Freiert which was disposed of after a not guilty verdict by some very smart jurors. In the end that lawsuit cost the taxpayers over $40,000 to prosecute. Why?
They are doing the same thing with Hillary and the RUFF shelter. Again... why don't they stop spending money on prosecuting them and help them to save these animals?
Or maybe they want to eliminate the "competition" so that residents will not have and alternative in being forced to take their pets to Animal Control. That will eventually lead to most of these animals being euthanized at the expense of the pet owners that can no longer take care of them.
"Animal Control" is a joke anyway.... And they're spending our money on worthless cost consuming endeavors!
Either work with them or leave them alone!

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: concerned citizen

You go girl! Go gettem Hillarie, or is it Hillary? Whatever! Never stop fighting those guys in city hall, or is it county hall?
Maybe it's the County superior Court, maybe it's Mohave County Environmental Health Manager, or is it the county planning and zoning dept? Whoever, you just keep fighting!
And when you've lost all your money, all your energy, all your patience, just contact some of the people that write into the Miner. I'm sure they'll still be aroung to help you out!???

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Bill Summerson

I thought our earthen floor was made out of durable materials? I haven't fallen through? It's just bad politics in a phony effort to interfere where there is no reason to! I hope RUFF keeps on protecting animals.

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Another Person whose Just Saying

I don't see how sand would be a good choice, seems like it would be a bit unsanitary. But what I don't understand is with the county's problem with too many unwanted pets why they keep harrassing the people who are out there to help. I've dealt with this lady when I took in a dozen rescued kittens. She works hard to take care of these animals. I've also volunteered my time with a local cat sanctuary, and the people who have these sactuaries give up their lives to help OUR community with all of these unwanted animals. It takes a whole day to make the rounds of cleaning cages/kennels and food and water bowls, to feed and give attention to these animals. Its such a sacrifice what these people do. Our community needs to start getting involved with these issues anyway they can with helping out these sanctuaries.

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Mohave County STOP the HARRASMENT

RUFFF is NOT a freakin kennel for money, they SAVE UNWANTED animals, leave them alone already, STOP WASTING our money!

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Just Wondering

Just wondering how much longer this drama is going to play out. It's time to think about the taxpayers. Either give RUFFF the permits or close her down. This is really getting to be unbelieveable. Get the faces of the critters out to the public so they can be adopted. Petco & Petsmart both hold adoptions. Maybe the Miner could put photos of dogs & cats in their paper once or twice a week. Even if only one animal got adopted it would be worth the effort.

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

Golden Valley is sand. Stop harassing this woman!

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