Six more citations have been issued in the city of Auburn to Amish individuals traveling through town with no collection devices on their horses.
“This has been a hectic couple of weeks,” said Auburn Police Chief Larry Jones.
Wilbur Mast was cited three times in the same day by Auburn police. Twice in the morning (once for violating the city’s animal ordinance and once for not having reflective tape on the farming equipment being pulled), and then once again in the afternoon by a different officer for violating the animal ordinance again.
“I don’t understand it,” said Jones. “If they know we are around, they have to know we are going to uphold the law. I have to do my job and will do it no matter who you are.”
Jones said some of the Amish woman are parking there buggies outside of town and pulling in a little red wagon to pick up their groceries, however, the men are just coming through town without the required device.
The others cited within the past two weeks along with Wilbur Mast include: Amos Mast, Rudy Miller and John Miller. This makes six Amish individuals who have been cited for violating the city’s animal ordinance this year. Dan Mast and Clara Mast have also been cited. However, someone came in and paid Ms. Mast’s fine.
Amos and his son Dan Mast are scheduled to pay their fines and court costs by June 25 for a violation they received several months ago. If they do not pay by this date they will be held in contempt of court and face possible jail time. Both were found guilty of violating Auburn’s animal ordinance by a jury and ordered to pay by a judge.
The elder Mast told the N-D&L he was not going to pay his fines and is ready to go to jail for it. Amos Mast owes the court $386. He was cited twice for disobeying the ordinance, which carries a $50 fine plus $143 in court costs for each count. Dan Mast owes just $193 as he was only cited once. Since the trial Amos Mast has picked up a third violation.
Amos Mast and his son are somewhat martyrs in this issue as the elder Mast said he had spoken with other Amish communities in the state, as well as out of state, who have urged him not to buckle on this issue, because then it would set precedent and all would be made to do it.
The City of Auburn amended its animal ordinance months ago to include collection devises when they couldn’t get the Amish to clean up after themselves. Complaints of horse manure on the streets pushed the city council to act by amending its current animal ordinance to include the collection devises.
The problem of horse manure has been ongoing for years, said Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes.
The ordinance reads: No person should allow an animal under his or her control to be upon public property, including streets within the city limits of Auburn, or upon the property of another, absent the consent of the owner or occupant of the property, without some device for the removal and/or containment of the animals excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by any animal under his or her control on public or private property. This action shall not apply to guide dogs under control of a blind person.
A properly fitted collection device shall be securely placed on all horses or other large animals while such animals are on the street within the city limits of Auburn. The sole exception of this requirement shall be for special events when cleanup crews are provided as part of the event.