Letters to the editor - 6/25/03

June 25, 2003

SPCA management change is welcome

To the editor:

Hooray, from the animals at the Washington County SPCA! The animals at the Washington County SPCA should say a prayer thanking God for the change of management. Had it come many months ago, many innocent animal lives could have been saved!

Most citizens of Washington County do not realize that their taxpayer dollars were spent on a yearly budget of $300,000, which was given to the SPCA whether it euthanized or adopted animals in their care. It certainly was much easier to euthanize than adopt, which was exactly what happened.

The hours that the facility is open should be increased, as most people cannot take time off from work to look at potential animals up for adoption.


The board of directors should look for a director who is educated in the use of rescue. There are many breed-specific and all-breed rescues that would have gladly gone into the SPCA and rescued the animals before they were put down.

There is no cost to the SPCA for this service. The rescues transport the animals, pay for neutering/spaying and give all required shots, including rabies.

They also assess the animals' compatibility with other dogs, cats and children. We work with four local vets, who provide medical services at a discounted rate. Second Chance Rescue adopted more than 500 dogs, pups and cats in 2002, with nowhere near a budget that the SPCA has.

These animals were adopted into loving homes, with nearly 75 percent of the adoptions taking place in the Hagerstown area.

Many of the animals that were euthanized under the current management could have been successfully adopted. But management never gave rescue groups the opportunity.

As to being instrumental in moving to a new facility, provisions should have been made for the building to have individual access from the cages to an enclosed outdoor area. To spend a large amount of money for an air purifying system doesn't make a lot of sense, when the dogs could be going outside.

An improved spay/neuter program must be put into effect, which would cut down dramatically the number of unwanted kittens and pups born yearly.

If area rescue groups can obtain reduced-cost services from local vets, I don't understand why the SPCA didn't look into these services. Please do a better job this time, because there are many animals, and more coming every day that depend on you to make the right decision.

Nancy Yeakley

Assistant Director

Second Chance Rescue

Inwood, W.Va.

Missing facts were key to story

To the editor:

I would like to reiterate my concern regarding the license your paper takes in excluding substantive facts found in AP articles you reprint. This was particularly apparent in your June 7 article titled "Judge rules Muslim woman can't wear veil in driver's license photo."

Beyond its well-publicized absurdity, this article attempts to present the details of the story as evidence of an ongoing encroachment on religious freedom for the benefit of public safety. Unfortunately, you exclude the last two paragraphs of the AP article - crucial facts that mitigate the credibility of the argument propagating the protection of religious freedom.

The fact that this person had hidden behind the pretense of religious beliefs to thwart a criminal investigation, which seemingly substantiated allegations of abuse, is significant in discerning whether or not the woman was in good faith defending her faith. With this omission revealed, the real issue of whether there exists a true encroachment on religious freedom seems to disintegrate as a mere fabrication.

As a discerning reader, I prefer having the facts to draw my own conclusions. I presume that the practical business of journalism is determining what is substantive information and what is not. However, the fact that your paper excluded facts that I felt to be significant feeds my cynicism and makes me wonder about what facts are missing from your other coverage.

Charles E. Tiches II


(Editor's note: Editors routinely edit wire-service stories to fit the available space. To purposely attempt to change the emphasis of a particular story would not only be wrong, but also futile, since readers have access to so many sources of news.)

Heads should roll!

To the editor:

Leaderless! Leaderless! Now they're speechless! Speechless! Some of us have known since 1990 that there has been a lack of leadership in Washington County government.

Now we see in the May 23, 2003, issue of The Daily Mail that the present board's commissioners and top administrative staff don't talk to each other very much either.

The front-page article by Tara Reilly and the editorial by Bob Maginnis offer a conundrum of bewilderments to defy imagination.

We are told about the failures of the commissioners and administrative staff to communicate with each other on the airport runway budget issue, a multi-million dollar decision.

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