EMERGENCY—THE PUBLIC WORKS OFFICE IS TEARING DOWN OUR PIG GARDEN
We run an animal sanctuary on the north coast of Taiwan, near Baishawan, where we home about 200 animals, most of whom have been rescued from very nasty situations where their life was in serious danger. Most are dogs, and most of those have lost limbs to the illegal snares and gin traps that litter the countryside here. We also have pigs who have outgrown their homes, orphaned squirrels, once-injured feral cats, and, soon, deer rescued from the deer-velvet industry. We are currently moving all our animals to a new location and are halfway through building all the kennels for the dogs.
I just heard from The Sanctuary manager, Judy, that the goverment is tearing down our pig garden. Judy has managed to get most of the pigs into the hut to keep them safe and another into a pig pen that is half torn down.
The men who came looked very scary and refused to listen to her pleas, except to only tear down half of the pig pen.
We have been in constant touch with the Public Works Office and the inspector, Mr. Chen, who is dealing with our case, told us that this would not happen. When he was explaining the process to us, he said that we could just take down the fence and the case would be closed, or we can lower the fence and another inspector would be sent to make sure that it was less than 150 cm. We chose to lower the fence and wait for another decision because of course we cannot just take down the pigs' protective fence.
We need help. This is obviously a very serious situation. And we are now very concerned about the dogs. The government will come on September 19th to look at our dog kennels.
The men who tore the fence down said that they have received nonstop complaints (our nearest neighbour, who has two factory buildings and an extension on his roof, and who runs a KTV bar between his house and our land, has been organising a campaign against us, getting other neighbours (who are all his family) to keep complaining against us, even though the nearest neighbour to the dogs has told us that, in fact, there is very little noise coming from The Sanctuary.
1. Please give us your suggestions as to what we can do now.
2. We need help building a temporary fence, less than 150 cm high, to provide the pigs with a safe exercise area, ASAP. Wood is fine. We also need to put new doors on the tin hut that let the air through, as otherwise it is too hot for the pigs.
3. We obviously have to start looking at other pieces of land to rent if we cannot sort out this issue with our neighbours. We may decide to keep this place just for 'quiet' animals.
4. We need funds. The problem with our neighbour has slowed down our ability to move, and we are currently having to pay for two locations while we try to move out of our old place.
5. DOES ANYONE KNOW A LAWYER WHO CAN HELP PRO BONO? WE BELIEVE THE PUBLIC WORKS OFFICE ACTED ILLEGALY, AS THEY TOOK DOWN FENCES THAT ARE LESS THAN 150 CM HIGH.
We're obviously very angry with our neighbour, who has refused to talk to us or listen to how our sanctuary will in no way affect him, as we know how to keep the noise at an acceptable level. His friends have been telling us that he has a grudge against our landlord (also his family) and just doesn't like dogs (even though he has one of his own).
I'm in England on a shelter-management course, which makes all this even more difficult. Judy is of course doing a great job doing all she can to protect the animals. But she and our staff can't do it alone.
We will find a perfect solution. There is no way we will let anything bad happen to our animals. But we need your help. Please help us if you can.