Work to Fix Illegal Farming in Lee County

Nearly 300 animals have been taken to a home in rural Lee County in recent weeks.

Three hundred animals.

At one point I had three cats at one time and it was way too many, but they were all members of a loving, well-fed, warm-hearted household, and definitely not a source of income, and not caged.

There are legitimate breeders, some even in this area, who play by the rules and welcome law enforcement at any time for inspections.

Investigators from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office built a case in Argyle and then conducted a search for the benefit of everyone, including the family involved in the pet keeping.

Not too long ago, the sheriff’s department was chasing loose cows in the county and asking authorities for an ordinance giving them more power to motivate farmers and animal owners to get things under control.

The great thing about this situation is that the light that has been shed on the situation has brought the industry to the table and it has actually corrected itself. Legitimate and responsible livestock owners came to the table, in effect demanded a hearing with law enforcement, and then helped resolve a situation that otherwise would likely have imposed tighter restrictions on their herds as well.

This same effort is now needed to combat animal abuse in our county.

Animal husbandry is a legitimate source of income, but it must be managed with decency, compassion and constant concern for the well-being of all, pets and humans. One has to wonder what the impact was on the health of the family that lived in this house, as well as on the animals. And when children are involved, there is a whole new level to the urgency of correction.

So now it’s time for breeders, legitimate breeders, to come to the table and help set a framework for a business conducted in a way we should all expect…and watch.

After all, freedoms are privileges lost when abused. We can all shout excessively, but when things aren’t improving through internal, natural means, that’s when external pressure and regulation becomes a requirement.

This seizure near Argyle was eventually discovered because someone told someone, who told someone, who told someone. These reports must continue.

The other part is trade. Weber may have said it better, but politely, when he said that as Americans we tend to want cheap things and that creates the profitability of black market operations. If we stick to buying from licensed breeders with a strong reputation for the safe and humane treatment of all animals, we are driving that retail economy and rewarding those conscious business efforts.

As the saying goes, everything else is truly uncivilized.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa was a boon for these animals. Many of these animals have not been treated humanely and now almost all are in a place where they are being cared for and moved to places where they can live out their lives.

I think we’re actually lucky that it was revealed when he did, and it was resolved the way it was. Sheriff Stacy Weber said he now wants to work with county officials and breeders to craft a county law that addresses the black market and unlicensed county breeders.

We agree. Every county should have something on the books that gives law enforcement broad powers of inspection and correction, especially in a rural, poorer county like Lee County. When MPs have such a footprint in terms of square kilometres, 550 to be exact, it’s impossible to see it all.

So when they do, they can’t be encumbered with waiting for that agency — or that warrant. They must be able to act. These animals were lucky the process worked the way it did and so do we.

Humanity, strange as it may seem, is not just for humans.

Speaking of being human, the redistricting that took place last week that threw the supervisor election into an 18-hour free fall could have happened at a faster pace. Election officials were forced to very quickly consider the new constituencies and their impact on the elections. Thankfully, the right questions have been asked and the question of who is running in the election has been resolved – but that’s beside the point.