Nominator Info:

Name: Carol A Moore

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Nominee Info:

Name: Lisa Marek

Address:

Organization helped: City of Ray CIty

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Reason for nomination: Lisa has an unbelievable love for cats in particular, but certainly advocates for dogs and other pets also. After moving from Massachusetts to live near and help her special needs brother, she noticed a large number of mostly feral cats in Ray City. On her own, she began humanely trapping them, getting them neutered and spayed as well as getting them shots, then returning them to their environment. This has gone on for 3-4 or more years ... whenever she moved from her former home state. She experienced no problem during the time she performed this community service. Once in awhile she would attend Ray City Council meetings and try to find out what the city was doing, but this produced little to no information because according to Mayor Brenda Exuum, the city of Ray City could not get help from Berrien County's Animal Control. Because of growing expenses, she began to get help from Nashville's Hearts to Home Humane Society. She has also had help out of two organizations in Valdosta. She was accomplishing a much needed service in Ray City until she encountered Mayor Brenda Exuum, whom she did not know. This was prior to going to city council meetings. Exuum assumed Lisa knew who she was and challenged her on what she was doing. Exuum told her that she could not trap on city property. Lisa moved her humane trapping service another piece of land. Again she was challenged by the city police (department made up of 2 officers). She was told she was violating what the mayor ordered because the church property (where Lisa had oral permission to trap cats) was owned by the city and leased to the church. This eventually led to her arrest and she spent several nights in jail. After getting out of jail and going to court where she was fined, etc., she has tried to just work on her own Section 8 housing land where she rents and help area neighbors. Two have multiple cats (20-30) and she has tried feeding and helping those owners. This has not set well with Mayor Exuum. Lisa has discovered that Mayor Exuum has meddled with the housing authority in Nashville, who manages her rental home. She's been hassled by her next door neighbor, friend of the mayor, who claims that her car bumper is getting damaged by cats using as a scratching post, and the list goes on. In the meantime, the mayor claims a cat which she feeds at City Hall, who she says she has no control over because he "won't stay home". It's interesting because she orders Lisa to keep cats "at home" and is willing to enforce with law. Lisa has persisted even with these obstacles. She gets public criticism by the mayor when in city council. According to Exuum, Marek is creating nuisances instead of helping. Exuum has been vindictive enough to create problems for Lisa at every turn. Animal laws are not equally applied in Ray City. Regardless, Lisa Marek compassionately works to serve that community and help with a necessary service.

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4 Months
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