Resident Learns That No Signs Are Allowed In Trying To Find Her 11-Year-Old Cat
West U. resident Lori Hill’s 11-year-old cat – an inside cat, declawed – got out of the house late afternoon yesterday. Hill, a veterinarian with Baylor College of Medicine, was up all night looking for “Mimi,” and around 4:30 a.m. today put signs on area telephone poles off of Weslayan. After getting some rest, Hill woke up at 9:30 a.m. to find the signs gone.
Hill was surprised to learn after calling the city that it is unlawful for her to put up signs looking for her pet – even on the tree in her yard, because it is on the easement.
Hill was out again mid-day, placing new signs. This one says, “To City of West U: I cannot believe you are so heartless that you took the time to remove all of my signs asking for help this morning. It’s not like I am having a garage sale or trying to make money. I hope none of you ever lose a pet.”
Code Enforcement Officer Daniel Paripovich removed the signs early this morning, and says the content of the signs it not at issue.
“The content of a sign in never the issue,” said Paripovich. “It doesn’t matter what a sign says – the only thing that matters to the city is the size and placement of a sign as it pertains to chapter 6 of our Code of Ordinances. If it says lost pet, lose ten pounds in two weeks, West U. Singles…it doesn’t matter what it says. If it is out there and violates Chapter 6, it is unlawful and will be removed.”
The Code of Ordinances states that it is unlawful to place a sign in a street area. The only signs allowed in the street must be official signs authorized by the West U. traffic control officer. The fine for unauthorized signs is $500 each.
“While she may have lost a pet, people will drive by and see that and say, ‘oh you can put signs up? Instead of issuing her a fine, I just took the signs down,” said Paripovich.
“I know people live in West University because they do a good job of enforcing ordinances,” said Hill. “But this seems pretty heartless.”
Hill says she will voice her concerns to City Council members.
Her cat, Mimi, is an 11-yearold Black Cornish Rex cat. Mimi showed up 24-hours later, near the garage, with a few cuts and one wound that required stitches.