The town of Dickinson, New York has told Abigail Rudolph that if she keeps her pet rabbits she may incur fines and/or jail time. Really. The mother of a young daughter said that she received a notice in the mail, telling her to get rid of her 15 pet bunnies by April 6th or face the consequences. The letter accused her of “harboring rabbits.” What an odd term to use for keeping pets. Rudolph told WBNG news:
It said that I was ‘harboring rabbits’ and that I was ‘not allowed to have any rabbits or fur-bearing animals of any sort.’ They also don’t allow goats, and cows, and stuff like that. Ok, I see why I shouldn’t have a cow in my backyard, but I really didn’t understand why I shouldn’t have rabbits. They [the city of Binghamton] changed their law two years ago to allow four rabbits and four chickens in the backyard. I don’t understand why we can’t do that here. I think it is ridiculous.
The city limit of Binghamton, it should be noted, is about 100 yards from the Rudolph home. Which makes the Dickinson law even more ridiculous. Town supervisor, Mike Marinaccio, does not agree, however.
Well, it’s not ridiculous. This law was put into place, many, many, many years ago. Probably decades ago. I feel the town has been very good to these people. They’re nice people for sure. However, they are violating the law. They decided they wanted to violate the law.
They “decided” to violate the law? How could they possibly know that it was against the law in the first place? Ms. Rudolph, naturally enough, does not have a book of the town’s very, very, very old laws. And, unless these are killer rabbits, one would not think that there would be a prohibition on the bunnies. But, Marinaccio notes that…
All you have to do is make a quick phone call to the town and we can tell you what the laws are. So, there’s really no excuse for not knowing the laws here in the Town of Dickinson or anywhere in Broome County.
Oh, is that how easy it is? I wonder if the poor clerk who would have to field questions about town law minutiae all day feels that way? What if everyone began to call the town hall to ask if they can have a compost heap or if they can fence in their garden or if they can park their car on an easement? I’m thinking that would get old really quick. And it is doubtful that Marinaccio would help deal with it.
Abigail Rudolph’s young daughter has helped raise the rabbits in question and will be “completely distraught” if they have to go, Rudolph says. All because a tin-plated mini-dictator thinks he has to “do his job” without calling in common sense. If he has any.
You know what? Towns are made up of people and people, ultimately, make the laws. Perhaps it’s time the Supervisor found another job. Were I a citizen of Dickinson, NY, I would be thinking real hard about the sort of people I want running my town. And it’s not unbending, by-the-book men like Mike Marinaccio. Maybe Abigail Rudolph should think about running for the job.
Here’s the report from WBNG News, Binghamton, NY:
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