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Demand Justice for Betrayed and Abused Animals

1,934 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

6.45% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Stop the betrayal of innocent animals at the hands of a former protector — stop people like this from owning or caring for animals again.

In Cochise County, Arizona, a shocking betrayal has come to light. Jill Houchens, a former animal control officer known for her involvement in animal welfare faces 146 charges of animal cruelty and neglect. This case has unveiled a grim reality hidden behind a facade of care and advocacy, with animals found living amidst unbearable conditions1.

Authorities discovered 24 animals in dire conditions on Houchens' property; five were deceased, and others suffered from severe neglect requiring immediate medical attention2. These innocent creatures endured unimaginable suffering, trapped in an environment devoid of the most basic necessities: clean living spaces, food, and water.

A Call to Action

This appalling situation raises urgent questions about the oversight of those in positions of animal care and advocacy. Houchens, once a respected figure in the animal welfare community, abused her trust and authority, resulting in unspeakable animal suffering3.

We cannot allow this tragedy to fade into the background. It's a stark reminder of the need for stringent regulations and oversight in animal welfare roles. This is where we need your voice.

Join Us in Making a Change

We call upon the compassionate and concerned members of our community and beyond to take a stand against such egregious acts of cruelty and betrayal. It's time to ensure that individuals who abuse animals on such a scale are never again in a position to harm innocent animals.

Your signature on our petition will send a clear message to the leaders of Cochise County: we demand a future where animals are safe from those who would do them harm. This isn't just about one case; it's about setting a precedent that protects all animals from neglect and cruelty.

Take Action Now

Stand with us today. Sign the petition to prohibit tragedies like this from happening ever again. Let's turn our collective outrage into positive action. Together, we can ensure a compassionate, safe, and humane future for all animals in Cochise County and beyond.

More on this issue:

  1. Arizona Daily Independent (23 February 2024), "Hereford Woman Charged With 146 Counts Of Animal Cruelty."
  2. Chorus Nylander, KVOA (23 February, 2024), "Hereford woman charged with animal cruelty was former Cochise County animal control officer."
  3. KTAR (26 February 2024), "Arizona woman arrested on nearly 150 animal abuse and neglect charges."
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The Petition:

To the Elected Officials of Cochise County, Arizona,

We, the undersigned, are dedicated citizens and advocates for animal welfare in our community. Recent events have highlighted a pressing need for reform in our local animal care and welfare policies.

The case involving 146 charges of animal cruelty and neglect has underscored a critical gap in our current system. This incident, involving a former public servant tasked with animal protection, requires comprehensive policy changes to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

In response, we propose the following policy reforms:

  1. Enhanced Screening and Training for Animal Welfare Positions: Implement rigorous background checks and ongoing training for all individuals in animal welfare roles to ensure they are both qualified and committed to the highest standards of animal care.

  2. Regular Inspections of Animal Care Facilities: Mandate regular, unannounced inspections of all animal care facilities, including private rescues and shelters, to ensure they meet strict welfare standards.

  3. Stricter Licensing for Animal Care Services: Introduce a stringent licensing system for all animal care and rescue operations, with clear criteria and regular reviews to ensure compliance with animal welfare laws.

  4. Community Education Programs: Develop and promote community education programs focused on responsible pet ownership, animal welfare rights, and the legal obligations of animal caretakers.

  5. Establishment of a Whistleblower Protection Program: Create a safe and confidential system for reporting suspected animal abuse or neglect, ensuring that whistleblowers are protected and their reports are taken seriously.

These measures are aimed not just at preventing individual cases of cruelty but at fostering a culture of compassion and responsibility towards animals in Cochise County. We believe that by enacting these policies, we can prevent future instances of animal neglect and abuse, ensuring a safer and more humane community for both animals and humans.

This call for change is a testament to our shared values and commitment to the well-being of all living beings in our community. Together, we can set a new standard for animal welfare in Cochise County and serve as a model for other communities.


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