Criminalized Freedom: Couple Fined Hundreds, Face Possible Jail, for Feeding Stray Cats

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Top Tier Gear USA


You are not free. In the one nation imperiously touting freedom as a star-spangled guiding principle, you are not free to enjoy a peaceful existence unmolested by armed revenue-reapers of the State — collecting rainwater, selling lemonade, living off-grid, charitably tending the homeless, and even feeding stray animals, all require you pay up, permit up, or license up — or be remanded to a cage for an intellectually insulting period of time.

Yes, apparently, leaving food and water for a small colony of feral cats gives the State sufficient premise to rob a pair of animal good samaritans blind — because, nary an issue exists government couldn’t royally mangle — turning otherwise law-abiding people into paupers and criminals, and souring public trust and sentiment in the process.

Kansas couple, Sue and Ray Jones — recently found guilty of feeding and giving water to their Augusta neighborhood’s feral cat community, because the State says that is a thing about which to have guilt — had to file an appeal against the charges and $150 fine for each person, as well as for each finding of guilt.

Considering the pair were originally charged with 21 separate counts, feeding feral cats comprises quite an expensive endeavor in the small Midwestern city, indeed.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people all over the country that say … they’ve never heard of anything like this,” daughter Kate Roggenbaum railed to KWCH of the inane situation. “One comment was this must be fake news.”

Even a thorough perusal of the Jones’ predicament indeed reads like something from a dystopian novel — but this Nanny State authoritarianism wielded against a charitable action wasn’t a tale conjured from the imagination of a keen novelist — this may be 2017, but this real-life anti-kitty script seems ripped from a subtext of Orwell’s 1984.

With their guilty convictions, Sue and Ray face time behind bars if they decide to rebel and … feed stray cats again.

“If they for example went out and violated another ordinance, such as if they went out and the police found them feeding cats and they were charged with that, the court can find that as a violation of their probation and order them to jail,” the Jones’ attorney, John Johnson, averred KWCH following the trial in mid-July.

“I think it was pretty harsh,” he added, noting, “I think the judge was very considerate. I mean, he looked at the evidence and took a very well-reasoned approach to his ruling, and it is what it is.”

Where the couple’s attorney seemed flippantly dismissive, the public has compensated in outrage — some local businesses ostensively affected by the stray cats even find the judge’s ruling unjustifiable.

“It’s not a problem to us though other than them leaving their trash,” Amber Goff, manager of a Valero, whose dumpster serves as sheltered area for the Joneses to leave food and water for the cats. “I don’t think they should get in trouble for feeding a cat necessarily, but be responsible about it.”

Goff says the felines aren’t a nuisance, and has no issue with the couple’s actions, but would prefer the feeding dishes not be left unattended.

In fact, with the possible only exception of the manager of a nearby NAPA store — who complained to animal control multiple times and expressed frustration with skunks attracted to the cat food and causing a smell nuisance — many locals besides the Joneses have fed the stray cats for some time.

None of them received massive fines or guilty convictions.

Detractors might be inclined to argue feeding scavenging animals only encourages growth and stability in the population, rather than solving the feral issue — or, worse, severely agitating the problem by creating a colony dependent on human handouts.

However, Sue Jones says feeding wasn’t the only care provided — after catching the cats, she brought them outside the city for spaying or neutering, so their return to the local population would not mean an expanding feral colony. While this method might not solve the issue of unwanted animals roaming the streets, it’s certainly a step toward curbing the nation’s sizable feral cat population.

Indeed, this isn’t the first brush with the law for Sue Jones. Johnson, the attorney, told KWCH the city issued a citation to the cat-lover in 2015, for setting up boxes as shelters for strays outside her business. According to the outlet, Roggenbaum launched a crowdfunding page to assist her parents with fines and fees associated with the absurd convictions.

Daily life in the United States increasingly comes laden with untenable penalties — as if the government keeps constant vigilance to ensure that, when it comes forking over income and jumping through hoops to perform otherwise mundanities of everyday life, the citizenry isn’t somehow ‘doing it wrong.’

When the retort to outrage over convictions like that of Sue and Ray Jones comprises snide assertions they should have just followed the law, the laughable overabundance of laws governing every facet of existence in this nation is ignored — and for the worse, if these dangerous legal frivolities remain on the books should the wrong megalomaniac happen to steer this sinking ship.

In the meantime, providing food for needy, homeless animals — and, in sickening number of states, human beings — should apparently be considered verboten in these Overcriminalized States of America.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

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Contributed by Claire Bernish of The Daily Sheeple.

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  • Mike

    well, if a fine they must pay let them do it in pennies. Slap the state back in the face with countless hours of counting pennies and holding up lines.

    • SP_88

      They should pay the fine by writing a check, for a penny, a whole lotta checks. Let them try to deposit all those.
      Of course it would probably cost them more money to pay the fine like that, but the inconvenience to the city would be priceless.

    • mikrat

      Where No Crime has been committed Fines are for Slaves.

  • jimmy joe

    Something BAD is going to happen in this republic, I, and many people I talk to, say the same thing, SOMETHING REAL BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THIS ONCE GREAT NATION!!!

  • lisalo

    I have to feed mine on the sly.

  • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

    While I think it irresponsible to feed feral cats – they’re great hunters and can feed themselves, after all; if they can’t, that’s how Nature works. . .
    Criminalizing the feeding of feral cats is a criminal act itself.

    • SP_88

      I agree that it’s not a good idea to feed them either, but it’s understandable that some people will worry about them, since they perceive them as unwanted pets rather than the good hunters they are.
      But I don’t think it should be a criminal act. This country has a serious problem with overcriminalization and an abundance of ridiculous laws that cause more problems than they solve. And most of these laws only exist to give job security to the armed revenue collectors roaming the streets under the guise of protecting and serving the community.

      • A lot of feral cats became orphans immediately after birth and never had another to teach them what kittens need to be taught. Is it worse to be charitable than responsible?

    • Then why isn’t it irresponsible to feed feral humans?

      • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

        Not such great hunters?

        • We were good enough to hunt other species to extinction.
          There’s a meme that can be found on bumper stickers and t-shirts: Vegetarian is a native american word meaning “bad hunter.”

  • FeelLikeSomebodysWatchingMe

    They feed the Clintons.

  • PJ London

    ‘The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.’
    Ayn Rand

    “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favours; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.”

    Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged

    • SP_88

      Wise words indeed. This is exactly what’s happening to us now. Anyone who predicted that we were going to end up with a fascist police state, was right long ago. It happened at a slow enough pace that people grew accustomed to it, but fast enough that people should have known better than to sit back and let it happen.
      It’s not like there were no warning signs. Some people were screaming from the rooftops that our country was headed in the wrong direction. And now they have been proven right, but people still want to argue that everything is fine, that we can still fix this by voting and calling our representatives, etc.
      But I assure you that this will take a lot more than phone calls and ballot boxes to fix.
      What would really help is if the other half of the people who are still stuck on stupid would wake up and help bail out this sinking ship. But don’t hold your breath. Because these people have been pretty thoroughly brainwashed by the propaganda and indoctrination being pumped into their brains in public schools and by the mainstream media. The cognitive dissonance has made it extremely difficult to get through to these people. Even when faced with undeniable, irrefutable, verifiable evidence, these people refuse to grow a pair and stand up for the truth. Instead, they cover their ears and go, “blah, blah, blah, blah, I can’t hear you, blah, blah, blah, blah, your opinion hurts my feelings, blah, blah, blah, blah, I need my safe space, blah, blah, blah, blah……”. It’s so frustrating, and sometimes I just want to punch them in the face. But I won’t. Because first they’ll cry, and fall down, and curl up into the fetal position. And then I’d end up getting arrested, and then they would sue me, and I would end up being charged with a hate crime because they were part of some minority, victim group that I didn’t even know existed because it’s some fabricated gender or some nonsense like that. But that’s another story.

      • PJ London

        ‘To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled — because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.’
        – Friedrich Nietzsche
        “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes
        so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all”
        Mario Savio
        “All governments are conspiracies — the means by which the rich exploit the poor.” — St. Thomas More
        ‘If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of defence which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defence. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.’
        Alexander Hamilton

  • mikrat

    So when are the people of this country going to get some god damn balls and stand up to this BS?

    Most just sit around chiming in about writing your rep and other nonsense – They wont help you, they don’t care about you – and its the same with all the AUTHORITY that you support.

    “its a big club, and you ain’t in it” – George Carlin

    The Police State is not just coming -its here

    • G’ma G


      • mikrat

        Read the War Powers Act – The Government(Bankers) are at war with we the people.

        One solution. And being Nice and Polite is not it.

        • G’ma G

          It depresses me that you are correct.

  • Howard Beale

    Welcome to the USSA Comrades.

  • Milly Vanilly

    It could have been way worse….they could have been caught feeding stray/homeless PEOPLE…I don’t even want to know the punishment for THAT horrific crime in Kansas.

  • TrevorD

    Don`t care, Don`t love, Don`t think, Don`t be free, Don`t be so human and Don`t question anything.
    Be a total robot, work for the system, pay your taxes and learn to be grateful to your masters.

    • SP_88

      That’ll teach ’em! The government won’t ever mess with you again!

      • TrevorD


  • Jimmy Yost

    It’s just like Paul Craig Roberts said a few years in an interview: “If you give someone power, they’re going to use it.”

  • Jimmy Yost

    I think this is just another example of how some bureaucrats put their heads together to figure out yet another way to steal money from the public. So this particular law was invented in Augusta Kansas? My guess is that if they’re successful in stealing the money that within just a short time every State, County, and City in the US will enact the same law. It’s just like Taticus said: “The more corrupt the State, the more numerous the laws.”