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Letter: Where is regulation on pet population

5:02 PM, Feb. 13, 2013  |  Comments
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Large quantities of "pet" rats in a Stevens Point area mobile home park? Nothing new here.

Most folks would agree that a couple, maybe a dozen properly housed "domestic" rats are pets, but hundreds are becoming a public health hazard hoarding situation, or possibly an unregulated, untaxed wholesale/retail breeding operation for the live snake food or pet store trades. Perhaps Portage County government, and the Health Department should be proactive and enforce or toughen their laws regarding what and how many animals are allowed in mobile home parks; this for the benefit, health and safety of all park inhabitants.

In 2011, a resident of another Stevens Point area park took me to see the rat breeding operation housed in the back yard next to his. Multiple cages of spotted rats and their babies, complete with the mess of such an operation, i.e., spilled food, urine and feces containing straw piles everywhere. Some of the mess was left over residue from the prior large scale rabbit raising operation housed there. Others' complaints to park management about the rabbits, then rats, some occasionally running loose, got the same unbelievable response I did, "They're her pets, she's taking care of them." The health department was then called, but by that time the rat owner was already in the process of selling out and moving away. Frankly, I'm amazed that the park owner, local town boards or other governmental agencies who administer mobile home park licenses, inspections, rules and regulations have such a high tolerance level for the possible litigation should someone suffer injury, loss or damage in the parks they oversee. If someone's child had been bitten by these rats, or a neighbor's home burned down due to rat's chewing on wiring - in whose pockets would the lawyers be looking for money? Especially considering these problems, as in the Plover situation, were apparently known by both park management and others.

Deborah Szczesny

Stevens Point

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