We reported last Thursday about the Lidsky family in North Haven, CT, who were ordered to get rid of the 20 pound Flemish Giant, Sandy that their seven-year-old daughter called her best friend. Over the past few days the story has gone viral, having been picked up by national media and the posting of a petition about the situation on change.org.
To bring you up to speed on how the story is progressing, we have found a detailed article by Ann DeMatteo of the Connecticut Post-Chronicle who has uncovered further details:
Lidsky is no stranger to the town, as the two have been embroiled in zoning and building issues in the past, mostly as a result of complaints from his next-door neighbor at 51 Susan Lane, Cindy Vanacore.
First Selectman Michael J. Freda emphasized Thursday the town doesn’t want to take the rabbit away from the family.
And 7-year-old Kayden Lidsky said she would be sad if she couldn’t keep Sandy, the 20-pound Flemish giant.
“The town is not in the business of going around, looking for people who have rabbits. The town is responding to a blight complaint,” he said. “Because of the size of the cage and the overall blighted conditions that exist on the property, we have responded to a complaint. The cage is part of the complaint.”
Freda added, “This is not about the rabbit. I would hope that the rabbit and the little girl are not being used as an emotional ploy to deflect all of the other issues that are going on there, because it’s not about taking the rabbit away from the little girl,” Freda said.
Lidsky said he is willing to complete the work on his house to rid it of the blight, which he doesn’t deny, but said Building Official Elio Floriano won’t give him a building permit.
Floriano’s boss, Public Works Director Lynn Sadosky, said that’s because a building permit can’t be issued because of outstanding violations, previous permits not paid and outstanding taxes.
“He doesn’t appear to want to be in compliance with the blight prevention ordinance,” and the matter has been turned over to a town attorney, Jennifer Coppola, said Sadosky.
As is sometimes the case with sensational news stories, it appears that the North Haven rabbit brouhaha is about more than an outdated city ordinance not recognizing that rabbits are pets. You can read the complete story, along with two videos and a slide show at the ctpostchronicle.com website.
If there is a positive side to this story, at least Fox News and other national media are helping to raise awareness about rabbits as pets. We hope those who are only learning about house rabbits for the first time will realize that bunnies also come in sizes smaller than Kayden’s great big Flemmie.
Photo by Dan & Susie Romer