LEGAL - KENNEL CANIS MAXIMUS
Our Legal Team:
Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. (till 2016)
105 S 1st Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Prados Law PLLC (currently)
1900 Campus Commons Drive #100,
Reston, VA 20191
In 2012 it became clear that we needed a new professionally built kennel. We started working with the zoning office to obtain all necessary paperwork to build it. All paperwork was filed and we were getting ready to finalize the process with the zoning board when one Saturday morning an unknown person appeared at the door saying she was from the local humane foundation and was a humane investigator and she was there to help us prepare for the zoning board.
Some will find this stupid, I have conflicting feelings about my actions that day, but I let her in - she sounded too official and too willing to help. All seemed to go well. She made some suggestions which, in essence, were unnecessary because the purpose of the whole process was to build a new professional facility and whatever wasn't up to her liking would have been resolved any way.
4 days before my zoning board I receive a packed with all my documentation. It looked too big than my original package so I looked through. As I start looking through it, I discover a 6-page report authored by this person. What I read was as if I was reading a horror kennel story of someone else but not me, not our dogs. My world was crushed. The next blow came within an hour of me getting this in the mail. "Someone" released it online. And there it went...
What happened after is similar to a nuclear explosion of your life. It divided it into "before" and "after". I couldn't believe someone I trusted could do this. There were no signs or indication that there was something wrong. This snake, this nasty creature, I can't call this person a human, has apparently been a serial breeder harasser. A person who so willingly and easily walks over another person's life, privacy and dignity can't be called a human.
The online post went viral and upset the community who flooded the zoning hearing with all their outcries of doing something bad to me. And I stood there not comprehending how my plan to build a good facility turned into so much bullying.
I stood there, strong, in pain, resilient and alone. I did nothing wrong. Nothing wrong. But no one listened to me. Husband suggested changing the kennel name, closing the website, changing everything. My answer was always the same: "Why? I did nothing wrong to deserve this".
The authorities were inundated with emails and calls and were not happy a simple kennel permit turned into a witch hunt. They'd come to my house unannounced: just to talk, as they said. They tried to explain that that person didn't mean it, didn't expect it to go so bad, said some things weren't written the right way in that report. I didn't care any more. I was so crushed the emotional pain went physical. Who've been extensively bullied knows the feeling. You hurt inside so much it hurts your whole body. I didn't know where to hide, how to run away from it. I stopped eating. I got paranoid because of all these friendly visits from law enforcement. I got depressed and needed help.
I lost the kennel permit, of course. Neighbors wouldn't want it close to their properties although we all have large properties. But the stories they told where shameful. I wasn't ashamed of myself, I was ashamed of what adults can lie about to get what they want.
My case opened up a few tumors.
I find it ridiculous, and I'm not a native born, so I can't justify why a kennel operator in this county needs:
1. zoning permit
2. kennel permit
3. dealer's permit
4. business license
Just for one business! Gov-t overreach? I've had a kennel permit all along but that wasn't enough. Gov-t screw up my fault?
Filing a lawsuit was a fantastic blow to the county and local hot heads who can't use logic and believe everything that's written. And everybody quickly left me alone. Lawyers DO help. Unfortunately the judge, who saw a huge conflict of interest of a humane investigator going house to house and taking animals for the shelter this investigator owned, gave this person immunity and we couldn't proceed (I suspect multi-millionaire mommy-dearest was involved).
Here I'd like to point out that the only official report there is states: "No violation of animal law." So concise and so true. And such a start difference from all the huff and puff of what caused this ridiculous nightmare.
I have built a kennel. In a different area. To begin with, the only goal I had was to build a facility and what the officials made out of a seemingly simple process is on their conscience now. Everyone will answer for their doings. The author of the report has. The county quickly denounced any doings with this person. No one hears or deals with this being any more. And the county passed a regulation forbidding people like her to enter people's premises and/or to take their animals. No more. It's been a long time coming! A decade for sure. Maybe I was meant to happen in this county - like a bump on the road that throws the driver's car off, and then someone finally does something about it. People like this person are cancerous tumors that only take away the resources from their hosts. I have a kennel, I offer services, I create, I build, I pay taxes and salaries, thus putting bread on several family's plates. And that person only lives off the work of others, not producing anything positive or creative, just living off of pain.
My new kennel was a mount Everest for a broken climber, my depression therapy, a story of resilience and survival against all odds.
The Roberts Law firm handled the initial case. The Prados Law is the firm that guards our interests nowadays.
I want everyone to know this: I was never accused of animal cruelty and neglect yet I still get angry emails like "burn in hell". They don't hurt me, not any more. Ugly words don't hit the target. If I survived what an ordinary kennel wouldn't - I must be really good at what I'm doing. What an animal radical wrote online years ago - that's in the past. That fall didn't define me but how I managed it, what good came out of that horrible experience - that's the real deal.
I want everyone to know that our kennel is legally protected. And we will fight anyone who confuses freedom of speech with freedom of insult.
And this is my story. And I stay strong.
author picture Filichkina Kseniya (c)
Design & Support Alexandrova Inna http://laitiona.ru/