Many thanks to each of you that signed the "Save Belle the Dublin Library Cat". The Library Board voted tonight (with a lot of public pressure) to keep Belle in the library as long as policies and procedures are developed for her safety and the public safety. YEAH, YEAH - Victory! Come visit Belle if you are in the Dublin Virginia area - she would love to meet you!
Currently for consideration by the Pulaski County Library Board is removal of Belle the cat who has resided at the Dublin Library in Dublin, Virginia for 3 years. Belle was surrendered to the Animal Shelter in 2005 and was selected by the humane society as the perfect library cat because she was so gentle and loved people picking her up and petting her.
Concerns by board members range from verbal complaints over the last 3 years (1 citizen complaint of allergies and 1 citizen complaint of a child handling the cat improperly and being scratched), the "what if" someone sued do to injury caused by Belle and placed a burden on the county (but it was verified that liability insurance is in place and that no boad member could be personally sued), and that Belle may have scratched a couch that has been in the library since the library opened (it was later noted by staff that some damage was due to dry rot due to years of sun exposure), that Belle is left alone in the library from Sat night until Monday morning and for 3 days during holidays (it was confirmed that Belle is checked on during the 3 day holiday periods), and that 87,000 cases of injury were recorded due to pet fall-related injury (we have found this reference and actually 88% of the 87,000 were "dog" related injury http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/200903/pets-risk-factor-fall-related-injuries).
The board accepted public comment on April 28 for 2 hours. Approximately a dozen citizens spoke ranging in age from 12 - 70 and several letters were read in favor of Belle remaining in the library. No one spoke or submitted letters in favor of removal of Belle.
The issue has been tabled until the May board meeting on May 26, 5 pm at the County Administration building in the Board of Supervisors chambers.
Please sign the petition to keep Belle in the library for patrons to enjoy, children to love, and to draw visitors and new forward thinking residents to our county.
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