Last week a friend of mine, Lisa Kelly owner of The Red Tent a holistic women's health center in Delray Beach Florida, was served with an eviction notice. Her crime? Feeding, neutering/spaying, and adopting cats living in a feral colony around the property she rents.
WPBF TV in West Palm Beach, FL has picked up on the story and it is now beginning to pick up national attention (yay!).
Follow me bellow the Orange Hairball of Doom for more...
Lisa's landlord, Tom Worrell, owns several blocks of property in Downtown Delray Beach, which includes the popular Sundy House Restaurant which is located on the adjacent block. The colony has lived in this area for years, and initially Mr. Worrell appeared to welcome the rodent killing potential of the pooties around his restaurant. However recently Mr. Worrell decided to hire a trapper to eliminate the colony. Lisa had taken it upon herself over the years to begin a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) program for the colony. For those that know anything about feral colonies, this is the most humane and responsible way for dealing with a colony. She and others would routinely feed the cats around the property, and overall the local businesses and tourists welcomed their friendly presence.
I can't speak for what made Mr. Worrell change his mind and hire a trapper that lead to the deaths of several cats, including Lisa's (non-colony) pet. But since then, Lisa has worked overtime getting the pooties fixed and adopted as quickly as possible. She has been doing this at personal expense of money and time, and has done a marvelous job. As it stands now, there is only ONE cat left on the property. For some reason the landlord chose NOW to evict her for "her feeding of a feral cat colony at the Swinton Avenue address was creating a nuisance which violated her lease".
Lisa has hired an attorney who will fight the eviction (that is in process now), but she was only given 5 days to vacate her business which she has operated for 3 years. I will update the diary as I get new info, but this is an ongoing story that changes by the day.
Kossacks, you can help by Recommending and Commenting on the WPBF Article (and video), or the NBCNews.com Article to keep spreading the news about this story. Please do what you can to bring attention to the pooties, and help save Lisa's business. If you are so inclined, throw her a Like at The Red Tent Facebook Page.
P.S. The photo above is of my pootie "Kitty"... you can read about how we rescued her here... this would please Kitty.
6:37 AM PT: Yay! Rec list... Thank you so much guys! I Have had a couple of diaries make the list in the past, but this one is the most important one I have written. It so deservs broad attention, because caring for animals shouldn't be a crime which causes someone to lose their livelihood. Thanks again!
12:26 PM PT: [UPDATE] If you feel in the email writing mood please consider sending an email to WPBF Reporter Terri Parker (email@example.com) and thank her for her coverage. Please include your location in the email. There is nothing that a local TV station loves more than national coverage. Thanks again guys, you are making a difference in someone's life!
1:00 PM PT: [UPDATE 2] Lisa just gave me an update on the legal wrangling. Her attorney filed a motion to dismiss the eviction on grounds that the landlord improperly used a summary eviction (5 Day) to remove her. This is not the proper eviction method in this case, so that may get some legs (no ruling yet). Her attorney has also filed a countersuit claiming harassment and emotional distress (They killed her damn cat!). It appears that the landlord is trying to rent the property to others while she is still there. He has entered the property without permission on several occasions to show it to potential future tenants. Keep in mind that her business is to provide a quite and peaceful atmosphere to pregnant women for meditation and a range of other spiritual/holistic services. Not cool to traipse through the place unannounced. Anyway, that's the latest, as I get more info I will let you know. Thanks for the well wishes!