California pet shelter uses gun sightings as screening tool

A Thousand Oaks pet shelter has faced a barrage of hate messages and threats since the owner announced he had started screening potential adopters for their stance on gun ownership and reform.

Shelter Hope Pet Shop owner Kim Sill said in a recent newsletter that his team would add a question to their screening protocols: “Where are you on gun control? »

But since several press organs covered the shelter’s decision – including a segment questioning the move Wednesday on Fox News”Tucker Carlson tonight– Sill said he received an avalanche of hateful messages and violent threats.

When she arrived on Friday, Sill was too distraught to speak at length about politics, saying she feared for her life after receiving so many threats. She said she was waiting for help and updates from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office after reporting dozens of threatening voicemails, emails and calls to her and the pet shelter.

She also said she plans to close the shelter for at least a few days amid the onslaught of vitriol.

sergeant. Jason Karol, a public information officer with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, said investigators are looking into the matter. He was unable to provide a tally of reported threats as they were ongoing. “There is a very high volume of phone calls and emails coming in,” Karol said. “It’s an ongoing thing.”

He also declined to confirm whether any threats had been deemed credible, but said investigators had been in contact with Sill since the issue entered public discourse.

“A large majority of [the threats] are from out of state, so they work with outside agencies to see if some of them are credible,” Karol said.

In the newsletter, published last month, Sill wrote that the recent shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 students and two teachers, as well as the 2018 shooting in Thousand Oaks which killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar and Grill , pushed her to make the change.

“Our community of Thousand Oaks has become part of every other city in America, now branded with a reputation for slaughter,” the newsletter reads. “Shelter Hope Pet Shop will not continue to operate under any circumstances if we are part of the problem, even remotely. We support teachers, children and businesses that provide services to the public, but we are tired of all the senseless killing.

In a statement sent Friday night to The Times, Sill added that her sister was killed in an act of gun violence, so for her the problem “hits close to home.”

Threshold told Fox News earlier this week that her sister was shot and killed by her husband in 1998.

“He bought a gun two days before, without a sanity check, and killed her,” she said.

“My neighbors were shot at Borderline, and each mass shooting continues to bury their memory deeper and deeper,” Sill wrote in his statement to The Times. “Although I may just be an animal rescuer, I have compassion for people and wanted to do something after [Uvalde]. I thought if everyone did one thing, we could make a difference.

The newsletter explained that the shelter already had a lengthy interview process in place for people interested in adopting pets, including questions about age and living conditions. The question about gun control just adds to that, Sill said.

“We live in the only country in the world that continues to support guns, not communities,” Sill wrote. “We will continue to support our community, but if you are gun pros and think no background checks are necessary, then please don’t come to us to adopt.”

She told Fox News that pet adopters’ stance on guns is relevant because she’s been known to make house calls to respond to emergencies.

“God forbid if you have a stroke and your wife calls me and tells me to come to your house and get the dog,” Sill said. “I might not feel safe coming to your house knowing that you are very radically opposed to what I think is not acceptable for an 18 year old to have a gun.”

That of the shelter June 1 Facebook post Promoting the new policy received nearly 2,000 comments, with the vast majority questioning it or disparaging Sill or his company. But Sill said Friday she was standing firm in her decision.

“I’m trying to make a difference,” Sill said. “A conversation needs to be had with every human I adopt. I am not advocating that everyone’s guns be taken away. I am advocating for common sense legislation that will keep guns out of the hands of people who commit these massacres.

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