Things don't change
I was born and raised in McCook although I haven't lived here full time in many years. In most ways I am proud of my hometown, but I see now that what was true years ago, concerning the judicial system here, hasn't changed.
For years, the law was dispensed according to "who" you were and who you knew. What a shame for the people of McCook! What I am referencing is the ruling by Judge Urbom in May when he overruled the McCook City Council, which voted in September 2007 to disallow Dan and Lizann Miller's request for a variance to allow for the operation of a puppy mill south of McCook (which they had already started without any of the proper licenses.
I was in attendance of that September City council meeting and I remember very well that the council voted to not allow the puppy mill because it was not compatible with adjoining properties, not because puppy mills are simply a despicable business. I felt the council did a very good job in listening to those present at that meeting and handled themselves in a very professional manner.
Judge Urbom did not take into account what this ruling would do to the neighbors with adjoining properties. If I were any of those property owners I would petition to have my property values reduced by half, as well as my property taxes.
No one in their right mind would want to own a home near the Millers. Not only would the barking make it impossible to enjoy spending time in their yards, but there is also a very real risk of having their wells contaminated. Dan and Lizann Miller started operating their puppy mill even before an application for a license to operate was applied for and before the City of McCook was asked to give them a variance to operate such a facility within two miles of the city limits. when the City Council voted against allowing their puppy mill operation, they still continued to operate, spitting in the eye of current regulations and the ruling of the McCook City Council. Then, lo and behold, Judge Urbom rewards this behavior by reversing the council's decision. makes me wonder what kind of a message that is supposed to send out to John Q. Public.
There are not enough regulations or inspectors to make these puppy factories operate in a humane manner.
Jeffrey Fortin (Lizann Miller's first husband and business partner), who operates a puppy mill in Kansas, is facing charges in Colorado for 34 counts of animal cruelty stemming from conditions of puppies in a pet store he co-owns and operates in Longmont, Colo.
Why would anyone think that the puppy mill that Lizann now operates with her current husband would be any more humane than the one she previously ran?
While I am not currently a full time resident of McCook and am not a member of the McCook humane society, I am sorry for all of them that McCook is unable to have a better qualified and more informed judge available to them.