Letters to the editor

July 31, 2003

SPCA myths

To the editor:

I feel compelled to respond to the letter from Nancy Yeakle of Second Chance Rescue.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003, the Humane Society of Washington County admitted 4,832 animals. In that same period of time 1,263 were adopted, and 2,787 were euthanized. Yeakle commented that "it certainly was much easier to euthanize than adopt." Euthanization is never "easy," and to accept that comment as truth is grossly unfair to all the people who love and care for our animals.

The sad fact is that we were unable to find 2,787 additional adopters.

Yeakle stated that we never gave rescue groups the opportunity to adopt our animals. In fact, 156 of our animals were placed with qualified breed-placement groups. She wondered why the Humane Society does not obtain reduced-cost services from local vets. The majority of local vets provide reduced-cost services to us, for which we are very thankful.


Our policy is to have each animal spayed or neutered before it is adopted, as long as it is old enough and healthy enough. The Washington County government provides money each year specifically for reduced-cost spay/neuter surgery, which we make available to county residents in financial need.

Yeakle also criticized our lack of outside kennels. In fact, we have 10.

Our volunteer program offers animal lovers an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of the animals in our care. Our volunteers work a variety of schedules and cover many different needs within the shelter. To learn more, please call me at 301-733-2060, extension 212.

Margaret Rhoads

Director of Volunteers

Humane Society of Washington County

Ban a good idea

To the editor:

Kudos to Hagerstown residents for proposing a ban on pit bull breeding ("For some, proposed ordinance is the pits," July 27). Breeding bans are needed to protect both the public and pit bulls, probably the most abused breed in dogdom.

Pit bulls are used in dogfights and kept for "protection" by drug dealers and pimps. They are often used as cheap burglar alarms, their necks encircled by heavy logging chains attached to a stake, metal drum, or dilapidated doghouse. To make them "mean," they are often starved and beaten. Hagerstown would also do well to consider implementing an anti-chaining law since chaining, in addition to being cruel, can make any dog more prone to bite.

People who genuinely care about dogs won't be affected by a breeding ban on pit bulls, which should include a grandfather clause protecting all dogs who are already living in good homes.

People seeking a canine companion can adopt one of the countless homeless dogs at the shelter. For more information, visit

Liz Welsh

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Norfolk, Va.

Poor use of funds

To the editor:

Well once again Hagerstown Mayor William Breichner has found another way to misuse my city tax money (City Council tries to stop hospital move, July 29). Instead of cleaning up downtown, repaving sidewalks and roads, or funding much needed charities, he feels the need to pay a total of $450 an hour for a lawyer and a "consultant" to protest the possible move of Washington County Hospital.

May I remind the mayor that the hospital does not belong to Hagerstown (after all it is a state shock trauma center). How is moving less than five miles going to affect 2,131 jobs? All I see are my taxes going up again because of more wasteful spending.

To our mayor and council members: I will remember this on election day.

Christy Craver


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