frauenfelder at June 6th, 2014 17:23 — #1
anonkopimi at June 6th, 2014 17:41 — #2
glitch at June 6th, 2014 17:41 — #3
How are authorities powerless to stop her? Surely something applies? Public health codes? Pet ownership laws? Animal cruelty? Littering?
kuangmk11 at June 6th, 2014 17:47 — #4
Yeah that's BS. The law in California is "the abandonment or dumping of any animal is a crime punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) or confinement in a county jail of up to six months, or both."
glitch at June 6th, 2014 17:48 — #5
So reading through the article, she's apparantly mentally ill, has a social worker, her rats continually destroy her apartment and adjacent units, yet she somehow manages to always move to a new residence when confronted about her behavior? How incompetant do you have to be to not bring this woman in?
eark_the_bunny at June 6th, 2014 17:49 — #6
Rats or politicians, say isn't that the same thing.
glitch at June 6th, 2014 17:49 — #7
malcopticon at June 6th, 2014 17:56 — #8
prestonsturges at June 6th, 2014 17:58 — #9
There used to be a guy in DC that would take his small terrier to the trendier parts of DC One of the traffic circles was a vast colony of rats and his dog would kill dozens of rats. Some people found this upsetting.
matthew_urso at June 6th, 2014 17:59 — #10
i hate her as much as i hate people who feed pigeons
glitch at June 6th, 2014 18:05 — #11
Well terriers were bred to control vermin populations. As long as he didn't leave the carcasses laying around, I don't see much of a problem.
Some might say the sight of a dog hunting and killing rats is unsettling, but arguably the rats shouldn't be there in the first place and the city has failed in their responsibility to handle the problem on behalf of the citizenry. If it takes private citizens with terriers to root out the infestation, so be it.
fuzzyfungus at June 6th, 2014 18:13 — #12
There's a peculiar region of dysfunction (one commonly inhabited by animal hoarders), where the assorted public benevolence entities are largely powerless; but where just calling in the jackboots for some vigorous application of law and order has a dangerously high probability of ending badly.
Given the relatively poor understanding of animal hoarding (and mental illness in general), even a rather more specialized team than 'a social worker' probably doesn't have much chance of success (and even if you judge 'taken inpatient and sedated right good' as success, good luck finding a long term bed for that...) and just sending in the cops for a violent eviction has a very poor track record in discouraging people from doing the same thing again as soon as they have the chance.
I would strongly doubt that the authorities actually can't find something that would justify some sort of action; but I strongly suspect that they don't have any options that aren't either largely futile or very likely to look unpleasantly brutal, some that are both, so nobody really wants to be the person who pushes the issue.
prestonsturges at June 6th, 2014 18:19 — #13
That reminds me, the Duggars are expecting again.
fuzzyfungus at June 6th, 2014 18:22 — #14
Remember, this is DC: a private citizen violently exterminating a vermin infestation is probably taken as a personal threat by a substantial portion of the residents...
ethicalcannibal at June 6th, 2014 18:30 — #15
I always feel really bad for the animals when it comes to animal hoarders, rats are no exception for me. Are these tame pet rats that are just dumped out willy nilly in a park? That's awful.
danegeld at June 6th, 2014 18:55 — #16
Does she enjoy it, though? I see no evidence that she enjoys doing what she does - perhaps she feels compelled to breed and release rats, but would really rather stop, if only they'd let her
lexicat at June 6th, 2014 18:59 — #17
Rats. Why did it have to be rats?
catgrin at June 6th, 2014 19:05 — #18
I just checked, and a specific city housing law already applies to rodents. Since she's a known issue, and poses an extreme health threat for the city, they should be enforcing. No real idea why they aren't! (Probably talking to the wrong department - Animal Control.) It even provides for temporary relocation of her while they clean her place out of rats.
They can't fine her. She has nothing to collect. So all they really can do is monitor her. They need to clear out her place. In the long run - it will cost them less to have an Animal Control person assigned to do first a weekly, then later a monthly check on her - then if they let this simply continue unabated. The rat population explosion could do both physical damage to the city, and health damage to the human population. They could allow her to keep a fixed a rat, but only with monitoring.
phasmafelis at June 6th, 2014 19:14 — #19
Authorities say they are powerless to stop her.
The linked article says no such thing. It just says they aren't stopping her. Animal Control has confiscated her rats at least once, and she's obviously breaking the law. My guess is that no one has actually bothered to press charges yet; landlords just want her out, and the police figure they have better things to do.
catgrin at June 6th, 2014 19:30 — #20
Yep, after searching multiple links it seems that various agencies are involved with her case, but her biggest problem is her mental instability. That has left them in their current position, where they do monitor her. They know where she's living, and try to know the rat population at her residence, so they can step in and handle it when it gets out of hand. (She finds them on her own.)
She was removed from her place at the residential hotel. I think the police's info may be out of date, because it's from the last major sweep. It looks like this info is more current. Since then, she has lived under a bridge (with 8 rats), and has found housing again.
@ethicalcannibal The tame rats were actually part of a group collected by Animal Control, and were adopted out. Others (sick or feral) were euthanized. (It was when the city did a sweep of an infested location that the animals were collected.) It looks like Rat Girl herself does not adopt out rats, and she normally just leaves them behind wherever she was living when she thinks she needs to move.
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