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Letters to the editor

August 06, 2003

Facts from SPCA's board of directors


To the editor:

The staff and directors of the Humane Society of Washington County would like to address comments made in a recent letter to the editor. As we know, the issue of unwanted and abused animals is a very emotional topic and receiving accurate information is imperative. For this reason, we, as protectors of our homeless animals believe a response is necessary. Please consider the following information as an opportunity to view a different perspective from that of Mrs. Yeakle's.

The Humane Society of Washington County admitted 4,804 animals into the shelter this past year. Of those, we found 1,261 qualified, responsible, loving homes and placed 154 with rescue groups, leaving 2,754 animals not adopted with their ultimate fate being death.

We reunited 349 animals with their owners and sent 48 wild animals to licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Two hundred and twelve arrived at our shelter already deceased or died after arrival due to disease, malnourishment, injury or abuse.

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The society maintains an average of 25 animals in foster care each month, with more than 50 volunteers helping to care for, promote and socialize the animals to keep them viable for adoption.

Our approval process for adopters and rescues is based on our goal to place as many animals as possible into permanent, caring homes and supporting a process that will eliminate the cycle of continued abandonment and abuse.

We work with rescues that are nonprofit, provide foster homes and do not kennel, require the spay and neuter of all animals, allow us to do site checks and post adoption follow-up, have no citations with animal control agencies and can provide veterinarian references.

We have a good working relationship with these rescues and additionally, we value the education they provide to us with respect to specific breeds.

By way of written evaluations, our visitors tell us that our facility is clean, our staff is professional, our animals are well cared for and they have enjoyed their visit.

The decision to euthanize animals in our care is heart-wrenching and causes considerable grief for our staff, board of directors and volunteers. Our shelter is limited to 106 cat and 68 dog housing units and at this time of year we sometimes receive 35 to 40 animals a day. It doesn't take long to realize that all cannot stay. Euthanasia is a frequent fact of life at the shelter due to irresponsible pet ownership. Every day, day after day, euthanasia happens because tomorrow more animals will be waiting.

Comments made without knowing the facts do a great disservice to our organization. Instead, we invite you to join us, come visit our staff, become a volunteer or a foster parent, help us educate, steer a committee, join the board and as the staff would say, "Take my job away!"

Dana Moylan, president
Tracey Bowman, vice president
Humane Society of Washington County
Hagerstown




Why aren't editorials and 'thumbs' column signed like letters?


To the editor:

Dear Mr. Maginnis:

You have stated many times in your column that the primary rule for publication of an opinion/editorial is the writer must identify himself.

A name is required or no ink, period. Yet, you print the "Local Viewpoint" daily, and the "Thumbs Up/Down" Saturdays, with absolutely no identification of their sources.

Why?

Who writes these articles? Deep Throat? Jimmy Hoffa? A little old lady from Pasadena?

Should the rule be amended to include "unless you deem it proper to publish an article without a source?"

It is my opinion that you, as the Editorial Page editor, need to explain yourself and/or redefine your policy.

Patricia Kessler
Fairplay




Don't blame pit bulls for every mauling; all dogs can bite


To the editor:

I would like to express my opinion of this new pit bull ordinance proposal. I own two very lovable and cuddly pit bulls and I think that this idea is just ridiculous.

How can the city put a restriction on one type of dog? It's discrimination. Owning a pit bull is just like owning any other dog. If the city would bother to do any research on the subject, it would find out that pit bulls were not bred to be aggressive toward humans, but toward other animals.

The idea of having to tie up and muzzle my dogs on my own property makes me sick to my stomach. I will gladly invite the chief of police over to my home and show him how non-aggressive these dogs are and how much they would rather kiss you to death than do you any bodily harm.

I have visited the SPCA in many cities looking for a third pit bull to own and have never found one to be aggressive toward me. You have more of a chance of getting bitten by a cocker spaniel than a pit bull.

I do realize that many drug dealers use these dogs for protection, but it is completely unfair to the average person to have to put such restrictions on much-loved pets.

Also, how is chaining them up outside going to do any good? If the police raid a house which has pit bulls in it, how is making a law that they have to be chained up when outside going to help? Besides, any dog will protect his house, not just a pit bull.

Drug dealers could use any dog for protection because any dog will protect its domain. If they are going to make such a law, it should be for every dog. They can't just single out one breed.

Lindsay Pheil
Hagerstown

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