Letters to the editor - 8/23/02

August 23, 2002

Put an end to animal fights

To the editor:

A dogfight last month on the Eastern Shore underscores the urgent need for legislation to address the growing problem of animal fighting in Maryland.

Animal fights are gruesome spectacles in which two animals, often drugged to heighten aggression, are set against each other in a fight to the death for amusement and illegal gambling.

Like the Marydel dog, pets are often stolen for these barbaric matches. Even winners of animal fights often die from their injuries, which include punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes.

In Maryland, Del. Kenneth Montague, D-Baltimore, and Sen. Philip Jimeno, D-Anne Arundel, sponsored legislation in 2001 to make the most egregious acts of animal cruelty and animal fighting a felony, which passed the legislature virtually unopposed. However, Maryland's animal fighting law still remains one of the nation's weakest.


As one of just eight states where it's perfectly legal to keep and train animals for fighting, and with no law against animal-fighting paraphernalia, these loopholes make catching and prosecuting those involved extremely difficult. Unfortunately, legislation introduced in 2002 by Del. Chuck Boutin, R-Harford, to include these acts failed to pass out of committee.

Congress has stepped up to the plate, with our own U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett co-sponsoring legislation (H.R. 5286) to crack down on illegal animal fighting by providing felony penalties. Maryland should follow suit and close the loopholes in its own animal fighting law.

For information on animal fighting and what you can do about it, contact The Humane Society of the United States at 1-202-452-1100.

Wayne Pacelle

Senior Vice President

The U.S. Humane Society

Washington, D.C.

Happy about Bush

To the editor:

Let me see; Ted Schendel asked who is lying Bush or Rumsfield - well for eight years of Clinton, there was no question. Anytime someone compromises our security it puts our military and security people in harm's way. As most people who criticize our fight against terrorism, they have no plan but to complain. Clinton would have sent some wimp over to find out what we did wrong. I am so glad we have George Bush as our leader.

We took out Iraq's military because they invaded Kuwait, raped their women and burned their oil fields.

As far as Iraq's involvement in 911, who cares? Schendel would like to wait for a nuke to hit the U.S. then we would have something to complain about.

Harry Mentzer

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Heed warning in Lane's letter

To the editor:

Joe Lane's editorial comment (Herald-Mail, Saturday, Aug. 10) discussing the heated controversy over control of growth in Washington County is the best, most cogent piece I've ever read on the subject. Every citizen of the county, no matter which side of the issue they stand, should read Mr. Lane's warning.

If we do not heed his caution immediately, Washington County will very soon appear as no more than another Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Frederick County: a horizon-to-horizon seascape awash in town houses, duplexes, trophy homes, shopping malls, office complexes, industrial parks, cell phone towers and high-capacity congested roadways linking them all together. It's a fungus.

It's spreading like a western wildfire right this moment as we watch, apathetic and bemused.

And will someone please inform the caretaker of the entranceway to Black Rock Estates on Mount Aetna Road that the Maryland State flag there is being flown upside down?

Preston E. Law


Beware the thieves

To the editor:

Identity thieves must be laughing all the way to the bank to deposit other people's money. You can go to most any A.T.M. where someone has made a withdraw and you will see several bank account receipts on the ground or on a shelf near the A.T.M.

Don't these people realize that they are offering the identity thieves the opportunity to rip them off? There must be some link between someone's carelessness and disregard for their privacy and their intelligence quotient.

Arthur P. Keifer


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