Sorry if this has already been posted. I searched and didn't see anything, so hopefully I'm not repeating a previous thread. A friend of mine just sent this to me. With all the wisdom here on COTH, does anyone have any ideas on how to possibly help this man? Or if help is even possible?
It sounds like the horse was on that property prior to the livestock ban. Wouldn't there be a grandfather clause or maybe he could apply for an exception since the horse was there prior to the no livestock law passage.
I also wonder that since they haven't enforced the law for 20 years whether he would have a case based on that- something along the lines of selective enforcement or setting precidence.
Nebraska town officials want horse out pronto
August 14, 2008 - 4:18am
By ERIC OLSON
Associated Press Writer
HICKMAN, Neb. (AP) - Talk about your one-horse town. This burg of 1,084 residents is just that.
But some folks don't want that distinction. They want an aging horse named Peter Rabbit, who lives in a pasture in town, gone for good.
Other folks say the horse should stay, despite an ordinance that bans livestock inside city limits.
"I feel bad for the poor horse. He's probably going to die soon anyway," said Jamie Cox, who manages the town bar, Sadie's Place. "As long as he's being taken care of, they should leave him alone."
Hickman, once a sleepy farm town, has become a bedroom community for the capital city of Lincoln and is one of the fastest-growing cities in Nebraska.
With houses having sprung up around Peter Rabbit's pasture, Mayor Jim Hrouda and five of the six City Council members are determined to enforce the livestock ban. Shortly after a council meeting Tuesday, the horse's owner, 76-year-old Harley Scott, was served an eviction notice that orders the animal off the land.
Scott said he has no intention of complying with the Sept. 15 deadline. He faces the prospect of being fined up to $100 a day if he's convicted of violating the ordinance.
Longtime council member Robert Harms said the livestock ordinance dates to 1988. He said allowing Peter Rabbit to stay would make it difficult to keep other livestock out.
Scott said he has raised Peter Rabbit since the brown Morgan-quarter horse crossbreed was born in his pasture in the spring of 1976. Scott said there have been horses on the land since his father bought 40 acres in 1935.
Only about four acres remain in the family. The rest has been sold to developers.
His land was annexed in 2006, but Scott said no one said anything to him at the time about having to give up the horse.
Scott said Peter Rabbit, who is as healthy as a 32-year-old horse can be, is too old to move. Horses have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years.
"He could drop dead today," Scott said. "I would prefer to have him remain as stable as he is and be able to enjoy his life. I like to go out and pet him. It's just a matter of feeding and petting him."
Any COTH lawyers that can check on the possibility of being grandfathered in?
It would be nice to let this caring, older gentleman keep his aging horse on his own property where the horse and man have lived all their lives. I love that Scott likes to go out and pet his horse, and that it's just a matter of feeding and petting him. All horses should be so lucky to be cared for like that.
I wonder how many of the town residents are actually aware of this? Maybe they would have a softer heart and write letters allowing a grandfather clause. After all, they didn't enforce it back in 1988, nor notify him in 2006. Citiots is an excellent name for those A**holios.
Something similar happened in CO when I lived there- younger people and horse, but they did not prevail. I was really irritated about that even way back then.
I may have been away for a while, but I'm not gone yet!
In Georgia we do have the grandfather clause, since the cities and counties have been rezoning out horses and chickens. They built a subdivision down the road and a woman who lives by them has roosters who crow, and the subdivision people are livid, but the roosters were there, well their ancestors, before the subdivision.
Any Nebraska lawyers on coth?
We got rezoned after my horses died years ago, so I board, but the cop down the road just put 3 horses from the mounted patrol in his back yard, right across from that subdivision, so I'm thinking of moving mine to my backyard. Except no place to ride as the boy scout camp moved out of town and that subdivision sits where I used to ride in the woods.
I hope there is a grandfather clause in nebraska and Peter Rabbit can live out his life in his pasture. What a creepy town. Oh wait, why doesn't the national news get on this case? Time to email nbc/cbs/abc. A little national exposure and embarassment might do the trick to save PRabbit.