This Week in California… Laguna Beach Woman Sues City for Poisoned Cat

Kim Jensen of Laguna Beach, CA recently discovered that her cat had become violently ill from chewing on the carcass of a gopher that had been poisoned by her neighbor’s rodent repellent. Jensen is suing the city for $950.25 in vet bills because she claims her neighbor, Bill Martinez took the poison, which is city property, “for his personal use.” In an article by Claudia Koerner in the Orange County Register, Jensen explains her actions, saying, “‘The city needs to be responsible for its employees,’ Jensen said, adding it stings that her tax dollars may have in part funded the pest control poison that injured her cat.”

Has all personal responsibility been lost on Ms. Jensen? Could this perhaps be a commentary on society in general with the ability to sue others so readily available? I do feel for Ms. Jensen. It breaks a pet-owners heart to see a precious family member suffer. I am not devaluing the life of a beloved pet. In the interest of full disclosure, I have two cats that I love very much and would (and have) paid exorbitant vet bills to keep them healthy. However, when I made the decision to become a pet owner, I understood the responsibility that accompanies whatever shenanigans my curious cats get into. Perhaps Ms. Jensen could have politely asked Mr. Martinez to help pay for the vet bill, or possibly lobbied on behalf of more natural rodent poisons instead of taking legal action against the city.

On a different, more investigative note, there is one part about this story that makes me extremely curious. How is Ms. Jensen 100% positive that the gopher came from Mr. Martinez’s yard? The article states, “A couple of weeks later, Jensen’s 10-year-old cat, nicknamed Kittie O’Mittie, dragged in a partially eaten gopher. Jensen, used to offerings from the active feline, thought little of it. ‘I just bagged the body and disposed of it,’ she said.” So Jensen admits Kittie O’Mittie dragged in a rodent. Unless Jensen saw Kittie O’Mittie drag the gopher from Mr. Martinez’s yard, isn’t it just speculation that the rodent was poisoned in his yard? Or that the gopher dragged in by Kittie O’Mittie was even found in Mr. Martinez’s yard? Just a thought.

It’s a sad commentary to see seemingly reasonable adults shed personal responsibility in order to avoid embarrassment or fines.

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09 2010

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