This Southern Minnesota Town Is Fighting Over Cats
In the southern Minnesota city of Hartland, population 315, a battle has been brewing over cats. One resident, Kimberly Jameson, loves cats so much so that city officials, have vowed to crack down on her feline fancy by enforcing a city ordinance restricting residents to only two household pets at a time. It's a bitter dispute that has not only divided the town but has even brought in outside help to enforce the ordinance after the County Sheriff refused to get involved.
Jameson, who feeds feral cats in town, recently registered 10 cats as emotional support animals, hoping it will keep the city from taking them from her. But city officials claim Jameson’s actions create a public health risk — by putting bowls of food all across town, she attracts not only stray cats but skunks, raccoons, possums, and rats, too.
The feud has turned nasty in recent months, with Jameson and the city going to court in hopes of resolving an issue that has stirred tensions for nearly two years. Jameson told the Albert Lea Tribune earlier this year that she feels that the city is using her to remove cats from the community and even accused Hartland Mayor Deb Flatness — a retired police detective — of targeting her.
This cat feud then turns dark according to this Albert Lea Tribune article the Freeborn County Sheriff, Kurt Freitag, told the paper's reporter what the Mayor allegedly told him they would do with the cats if the local Humane Society didn't lend crates to trap the feral cats, that are fed by Jameson.
"Freitag said Flatness told him if the city did not receive pet porters, it could get cardboard boxes, load the cats and take them outside the community. She reportedly said her son, who works for an excavation company, could dig a trench, line the boxes with cats and have them shot by people shooting at the boxes. If the guns were not available, Flatness reportedly said the bucket of the excavator could be used to kill the cats." - Albert Lea Tribune
Will the feud end? Probably. A Freeborn County Judge is expected to rule on whether or not the agreement entered into between the City of Hartland and Jameson will be revoked after Jameson failed to meet certain requirements of the agreement. The agreement stated that Jameson does not have more than 10 cats, build a fence to keep the cats on her property and not to feed feral cats.