This is the frightening story about Coral Kerr, her work with the animals that she has rescued, the ones she has taken into sanctuary for her friends who have died, and her own pets that were simply living peaceful , happy, comfortable lives until the day of June 16.2009. That day authorities arrived unannounced to take away her entire private, protected world. Coral has worked as an illustrator, writer and character designer, best known for her creations for the television show, "H.R.PufnStuf" in 1967. She moved to the isolated mountainous area of Tulare county so that her animals could enjoy room to romp in the outdoors, and she could continue to write and illustrate in a serene setting surrounded by peace and quiet and natural beauty. All the animals in her care (twelve dogs and eight cats) were well fed, loved and cared for. While she was over the pet limit, she was responsibly vetting, altering and caring for them until they could be placed into forever homes. She was never told legally (written or verbally) that she must reduce her numbers nor had there been any animal behavior issues. She was never given the opportunity or time to reduce her numbers before the animal control and the law enforcement stormed onto her property and into the house being customized entirely for the animals' use . In a mad frenzy they removed ALL of her animals—not even allowing her to keep the 4 pets she was legally entitled to have in her home! She witnessed her terrified dogs being manhandled by cruel and painful methods by the animal control people. There were also 8 adult cats and several feral kittens she was bottle feeding special kitten formula, as their mother had been killed in the forest. These healthy, little miracle kittens were also confiscated and immediately euthanized at the shelter. The law requires legal notice be given when one is not in compliance with a city ordinance— no such notice was ever delivered to Coral! Two people came onto her private property 5 days before from animal regulations but did not tell her why they were there. They came back 5 days later, forced her into an ambulance, took ALL of the animals, gave her a card that said she could get the animals out of impound in 10 days, and told her to get a kennel license. Unbelievably, they carelessly removed all of the dogs and cats that she was caring for without warning! She was treated like a criminal, removed from her property by force, forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, having had no history of any emotional or mental problems, and exhibiting no signs of instability or illhealth whatsoever. She was interviewed by Dr. Raul Martinez with Tulare County Mental Health Dept. Dr Martinez found Coral to be competent, of sound mind, and thoroughly capable and he saw fit to let her return home immediately. When she was taken to be evaluated, she was not allowed to take her house keys, her cell phone, or her personal identification. Though she was free to leave, the county had no way for her to get home, a 90 minute drive, and Dr. Martinez was kind enough to drive her home himself.
On June 23,2009 Coral went to buy the required kennel license to comply with stated regulations and Tim Brown at theTulare County Animal Shelter refused to sell her one! No reason was offered for said refusal, and she was not informed of what she must do to qualify to get the kennel license the county had told her she had to obtain. The harassment persists as animal control continues to withhold her foster animals and personal pets, most over the age of 9 years old and a couple of them nearly 20. Explanation for this has not been given and the family includes animals who have never been separated from each other or Coral in their entire, long, cherished lives. She is ordered to appear in court on August 12,2009. Coral’s civil rights were violated, her family destroyed and some of the animals have been euthanized already without cause. She has been through agonizing pain having to hear flippant comments made by the local sheriff, Scott O'Neill, joking about how "her animals are old and 'on their way out' anyway". They have refused to tell her any information about the condition or status of her animals, and they have consistently made conflicting statements to concerned individuals who have inquired as to who among her lovely, healthy animals have survived thus far.l has written and illustrated a children's book about a little kitten, "Sparrow", whom she had saved and who in turn saved the life of another kitten. It is to be published in November, and that valiant kitten was also confiscated, and it is feared this little hero has been needlessly put to death. When asked about who among her animals is still alive, Tim Brown at the Tulare County shelter says casually ," a few have died". It was also announced that " some were euthanized".Coral has written and illustrated a children's book about a little kitten, "Sparrow", whom she had saved and who in turn saved the life of another kitten. It is to be published in November, and that valiant kitten was also confiscated, and it is feared this little hero has been needlessly put to death. When asked about who among her animals is still alive, Tim Brown at the Tulare County shelter says casually ," a few have died". It was also announced that "some were euthanized". We have to rally behind Coral because those of us in rescue never know when the knock on the door will be on our own property and someone will try to confiscate our own furkids without notice. This is violation of civil rights without warning or warrant, and this should never happen to anyone in America! We need to win this case because if the people in animal regulation in Tulare County, CA prevail, none of us are safe from being accosted and violated in our own homes.