Animal rescuers file lawsuit against East TX city - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Animal rescuers file lawsuit against East TX city

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV)- An animal rescue operation is suing an East Texas city over an ordinance. The owners of the Wild Rose Rescue Ranch say the ordinance will strip them of their animals.

Last month, the city of Whitehouse passed an ordinance that would limit the number of pets per household. The attorney representing Wild Rose Rescue Ranch says the ordinance is unconstituional.

Georganne and Bob Lenham say their rescue ranch is in jeopardy. After the ordinance passed last month, Georganne said she felt targeted.

"Some individuals filed a complaint about it and we feel this is centered around that," said Lenham. "Without a doubt, it's a way of, a back door way of shutting us up, I think."

Now the Lenhams are armed with an attorney and fighting back. Thursday morning, they filed a lawsuit against the city of Whitehouse. Their attorney, Kay Davenport, says applying this ordinance to her clients is unconstitutional.

"This is not a normal city lot," she said. "This is a 50 acre ranch that was established as a rescue ranch in 2004, therefore, they should be exempt from this ordinance."

Right now, the Lenhams have a temporary restraining order against the city to keep their animals on their property. Davenport says it should have never come to this.

"They should not be punished or made to move because they've enacted this ordinance and because subdivisions have built up right next to them," said Davenport.

She says the Lenhams were there first and will fight for what's theirs.

The city of Whitehouse declined to comment until they review the lawsuit. A hearing has been set on March 11 at 1:30 p.m. 

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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