Rescuer cited for too many dogs

A Minden woman who rescues Australian shepherds and border collies driven crazy from too much time in a kennel has been cited by Douglas County Animal Control officers for having too many animals.

Kathy Givens, who lives on Clapham Lane, was cited for having too many dogs. The citation complaint was filed by a neighbor, who brought a picture in to prove the case.

Givens has three dogs of her own and said she often has between one and three additional dogs she is working with.

It is against Douglas County code to have more than three dogs over the age of four months on the premises of a residence, business other than a licensed dog kennel veterinary clinic or hospital or any other location within a fenced location.

However, Givens said the dogs she rescues never spend more than 30 days at her home and therefore are not subject to the code, because they are not required to be licensed in that time.

She has been working with the dogs for the six years she's lived in Carson Valley. She said she has had referrals the Douglas County Animal Shelter. She rehabilitates dogs for use in shows and agility trials.

"These dogs are bred to herd and run several miles and they are the first ones to get kennel crazed as opposed to a Lab who will be happy lying around and chewing a ball," Givens said. "It's all I've owned for the last 25 years because they're so smart. But because they're smart, they don't show well when people come to the shelter."

Givens said the Douglas County code makes it impossible for individuals to do animal rescue, which provides a valuable service to the county.

"This is something where people can work alongside the community," she said. "I train incorrigible dogs so they can remain alive."

Many of the dogs Givens has rescued have participated in agility trials at Fuji Park and in Gardnerville.

"We have to change the ordinance," she said. "I was cited for having two extra dogs I saved from death."

Before she will take a dog, she says it must be in pretty bad shape.

"They have to really need me," she said. "I won't work with breeders who just need a place for pups, they have to be dogs who have a problem."

Givens said she has a waiting list of people who want to adopt the dogs.

"The energy that some people find annoying in these dogs is what we want, so we can channel it behind a flock of sheep."

Givens is ordered to appear in East Fork Justice Court on Jan. 23 where she said she has to meet with the District Attorney's Office.


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