Levy County Judge James T Browning declared after a brief hearing in Bronson on February 14 2012 that the TNR case was now closed.
This second hearing followed the Judge`s decision on January 10 that Oliver and Doreen Bauer were in violation of City Ordinance 2.07.05 B4, and fined $150 for keeping about 60 cats in unsanitary conditions at their property on Gulf Boulevard. They had also been required to re-appear in court on February 14 to demonstrate their good faith in complying with the court`s request that they take reasonable steps to alleviate the problem of odor and flies and, in the longer term, reduce the number of cats.
Police Chief Virgil Sandling reported that when he made an unannounced visit to the Bauers on the previous day, February 13, he had not noticed any odors and that there were only a few flies in evidence; the number of cats had been reduced from about 60 at the time of the previous hearing to a current figure of 34.
Judge Browning then ruled that on the basis of this evidence the cat population appeared to be controlled, that the Bauers were in compliance with the court`s ruling, and that the case was now closed. At the request of Chief Sandling, he also waived the $150 fine that had originally been imposed.
Back in Cedar Key, however, it is apparent that the neighbors of the Bauers are still unhappy with the situation and that from their point of view the case has not in fact been resolved. They argue that the nuisance caused by odors and flies will return with the warmer weather, and are therefore pursuing two separate avenues of approach. The first is to file a complaint with the City that the Bauers are infringing City Ordinance 2.07.04 A - this is a tougher provision of the City`s animal control laws than the one that has been judged so far ("No person shall keep or harbor any animal for use other than as a pet within any part of the City of Cedar Key"). Secondly, the neighbors have retained an attorney to help them pursue the various civil aspects of the case.