Hello Town of Acton Officials,
For the record, I NEVER said that you refused to let me put up signs, or that your town had taken them down. However, someone in your town was taking down my signs.
The part of the WBZ interview that has been quoted in your response was a voice over, paraphrasing several conversations between the reporter and I. I noticed that some of what I said about my experiences in Littleton and in Acton had been homogenized. I had no direct hand in that.
From my perspective, here are the facts about my experiences in Acton and the reasons I became vocal about them. All I want to do is get my dog home. She is out there. I believe with all my heart that Bridgett would have been home long ago, had there not been so many problems posting signs.
- I posted signs in Acton when Bridgett first went missing. I put up what are known as intersection signs on utility poles. They were removed within 48 hours of being hung. Then someone suggested there might be bylaws about signs, so I inquired.
- I called Town Hall and inquired about sign ordinances. I was told I needed to apply for a permit, and that there would be a small fee. This process could take some time, which was also an issue. I asked what the non-resident fee would be, and was told not to bother applying because I didn't have a residence or a business in Acton.
- Almost every business I approached about putting up a flier, not a gaudy sign, refused me because of fear of fines. They all told me that they could receive fines up to $300.00/day. Of course, I couldn't ask them to risk that and I couldn’t afford to pay them, either. They said they weren't allowed to poster even inside their own businesses. This was voiced by every business owner that refused my request.
As a result, I was not able to quickly get the word out about Bridgett. The first few days after a dog has gone missing are the most important. Signs would have improved the chances of bringing her home. That was not going to be an option.
I had to devise other ways to get her picture out there. This was costly, both in the delays it created, but also financially. I had business cards made with Bridgett’s picture and information. Three fold, double sided, brochures were printed. I used over $300 in ink making lost posters to put in door knob bags to be hung from mailbox flags. That was just for the first Bridgett Blitz on Acton (we distributed 500 fliers and 1,000 business cards then).
My dog IS in your town. I know this for a fact. She has not been taken in by another family. She is too afraid of people for that to happen. She has been seen many times near Pratt’s Brook, Great Hill, Steinman Land, and on Faulkner Hill. She’s been spotted running around the Maynard Country Club a couple of times and also in the Ace Hardware parking lot. The most recent sighting was last week on Parker Street. She is out there lost, scared, and lonely.
I have gone to amazing lengths to work around the road blocks I encountered. I am determined to bring Bridgett home. I can’t abandon her out there. I know she is not dead, as Mr. Gowing hypothesized. She needs me, and I need the Town of Acton.
It is about the time in this recovery process to think about feeding stations and traps. I have gone door to door asking for permission for this. One problem is that she is most often seen on Parker Street near the entrance to Pratt’s Brook. Most of the residences there are apartments or condos. I have asked permission of the management companies to put up a camera and feeding station. I have been refused. Now, I have to set up in locations that are not prime, but are close by. It’s not working. She is not coming to those locations.
I know the Town owns all of its conservation land, which is really where I need to set up these stations. I am not yet able to ask for the town’s permission. To be honest, I don’t think I can handle one more refusal or set back. Trying to bring Bridgett home has been so difficult and has taken its toll. But, I will not give up.
These statements reflect my experiences in Acton. There seems to be much confusion at town hall and in the community about what is, and what is not, allowed. My hope is that when the bylaws are examined, and revamped, this confusion will be alleviated.
In closing, it is my hope that the town can be guided more by the spirit, rather than the letter of the law.