LAMBERTON - A woman who settled in Lamberton earlier this year is thankful for the benevolence of local and area people, but she needs more support to continue her animal rescue service.
Last winter, Kimberly Robinson bought a home that was in foreclosure and began setting up a business - Robinson's Animal Rescue. She now has 15 small dogs and four cats, some living in portable kennels in the house.
"People bring me dogs and cats they've found or can't take care of and I bring them back to health," Robinson said. "I've been doing this for many years, saving nearly 3,000 dogs over the past 23 years."
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Kimberly Robinson of Lamberton holds one of the 15 dogs living in her home where she operates an animal rescue service. The Lamberton City Council approved an ordinance for pet licensing and regulations in May, allowing residents to have up to six dogs in their residence.
Robinson said she grew up in Edina and previously did animal rescue work in the Twin Cities metro area, in Marble Rock, Iowa (near Mason City); and near Blooming Prairie.
She said her love of dogs grew after she suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) in a motor vehicle accident as a teenager. "Dogs and cats are great therapy for me," Robinson said. "Many doctors will agree with that."
Robinson said her small dogs don't consume nearly as much food as larger dogs do, but that she needs help to stay in business. She charges a small fee over her costs when she finds owners for her dogs and cats.
"I usually have them spayed, neutered and get them other shots if needed," she said. "I keep a list of what kinds of dogs and cats people want and match them up with animals I get."
Robinson said she appreciates the generosity of those who support her work.
"People and businesses have donated money, food and other things I need," she explained. "My biggest needs now are to erect a fence around the yard and put new shingles on the roof."
Lamberton businessperson Pat Stiles said she hopes the City of Lamberton allows Robinson to continue to operate her business. "She really does a nice job," Stiles said. "Her home is amazingly clean and doesn't smell bad."
Robinson said she has not received any citations from the City of Lamberton, yet.
Lamberton City Clerk Steve Flaig said Robinson is "grandfathered in" by City Ordinance 153 regarding pet licensing and regulations. But she can't add any more animals beyond the number she had when the ordinance was approved May 12, 2014. Flaig said he was not sure just how many animals Robinson had in her home on that date.
The ordinance defined kennels as "the keeping of six or more dogs or six or more cats on the same premises, whether owned by the same person or not, and for whatever purpose kept; except that a fresh litter of pups or kittens may kept for a period of three months before such keeping shall be deemed a "kennel."
The ordinance continued "because the keeping of six or more dogs or six or more cats on the same premises is subject to great abuse, causing discomfort to persons in the area by way of smell, noise, hazard and general aesthetic depreciation, the keeping of six or more dogs or cats on the premises is declared to be a nuisance, and no person shall keep or maintain a kennel within the City.
"Those not in compliance when the ordinance becomes effective will have three months to comply or report the keeping of six or more dogs or cats to the City Clerk who will document the exception that will be allowed only until the death or removal from the premises of the dogs or cats kept at the property at the time the ordinance passes, exceptions shall not be extended for any new dogs or cats. The owner must license all dogs and cats kept on their property."
The ordinance allows the animal control officer or police to enter private land where there is reasonable cause to believe the ordinance is being violated. Violations are petty misdemeanors.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).