Milton Municipal Code 6.04.010 states: “It is declared the public policy of the city of Milton to secure and maintain such levels of animal control as will protect human health and safety, and to the greatest degree practicable to prevent injury to property and cruelty to animal life.” It is time that Milton Georgia not only enforces this code but enhances it.
Liberty’s Law is a proposed ordinance to protect Milton’s horses from abuse and harassment.
Liberty’s Law has come about due to abuse, harassment, and pain suffered by an old mare named Liberty. She has lived on Bethany Road for over thirty years. Within recent years, Liberty has been shot with paint balls, fireworks have been shot near her and into her pastures, and intentional noise has been directed her way. Even though hard evidence was presented to authorities, they have done nothing to the offenders. Why?
SO WHAT IS PROPOSED WITHIN 'LIBERTY'S LAW'?
1. Grandfather clause - Some conflicts have come about when a new home or development shares a property line with an existing equestrian property. In order to limit such discord, a grandfather clause document should be included with any sale or purchase for the non-equestrian bordering property. As part of this additional paper work, Liberty's Law will also be included to educate new residents on the equestrian lifestyle.
The benefit of such will help to hinder any future conflict due to documented material being given prior to the closing of said property.
2. Fireworks - It is well known that mixing fireworks and horses can lead to problems. A mare on Wood Road self aborted due to the stress she was enduring via fireworks from a bordering subdivision a few years back. While the city does have your typical "no fireworks in Milton" law, they have done nothing to enforce it-more importantly near equestrian properties. The police also have nothing concrete to justify action against the oppressor. Therefore, “three strike” enforcement is necessary. The steps are as follows:
A. First call: Police provide the offender with a warning as well as link to the city's website which explains "Liberty's Law."
B. Second call: A meeting with the equestrian property owner and the offender. With the Milton Police Department as the mediator, the goal would be to help educate and promote understanding between both parties.
C. Third call: A fine of $100.00 would be applied to the property. Those monies would be then channeled to the police department for the funding of equipment. With each additional call, fines would increase in $100 intervals.
3. Noise Attacks: Liberty has been yelled at, engines have been revved and cars have slowed down going by her pastures with the suspects leaning out their windows and banging on the outside of their car doors to scare her. No doubt other horses have endured similar attacks. Under such offenses, there should be a "zero tolerance" approach. Those caught in the act should endure a hefty fine in the amount of $500. They would also be required to take a one night class at city hall to educate them on horses.
4. Blatant Abuse - Liberty has been shot with paint balls leaving welts on her neck and face as a result. An eye witness submitted testimony stating that he saw the accused shooting “some type of gun” into her pastures around the time of this attack. Also, both parents and the accused children admitted to owning paint ball guns. However, the city claimed all of this information proved nothing. In order to negate this bias blindness, any such acts of aggression against horses or any type of animal with the pure intent of inflicting pain on the animal should return the offender with a day in jail and one day working with horses.
5. The creation of "Equestrian Zone" road signage throughout areas in Milton where horses are living.
Due to all of the abuse Liberty has endured, she now refuses to graze without supervision. In addition, additional feed and hay has been required to compensate for her lack of grazing due to the fear she now equates with these areas. No horse or animal should have to endure this.
In conclusion, Milton has chosen to promote its identity with the image of a horse. They also claim the city is of “rural character”. It is time for city leaders to put action behind the image. We need your help to promote and pass Liberty’s Law for all of Milton’s beautiful horses and other animals.