Animal shelters make hard choices
The Kansas Humane Society, like any of us, can fail to act perfectly at times (“Woman upset over euthanized dog,” Jan. 1 Local & State). But it strives to do the best job it can do with inadequate funding, volunteers and space to serve the animals whose caretakers have relinquished their responsibilities.
The fact is that we are collectively responsible for the hard choices that shelters have to make. Whenever we adopt an animal, we have accepted responsibility for its life. But too many of us too readily decide that a pet no longer fits our lifestyle, that treatable behavior problems aren’t worth our effort or that unneutered pets don’t need strict oversight. Then we too quickly surrender our now-inconvenient charges, because it’s simpler to pretend that the shelter will magically find that mythical “perfect owner.”
The cases where owners have legitimately exhausted all options are a small minority. Yet shelters continue to pick up after us when we’ve set aside our responsibilities, because they believe that animals are precious living creatures. But that means they have to make hard choices in order to benefit the most animals.
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It is easy to criticize a shelter for making “cruel” decisions. But before we demand perfection from a nonprofit organization devoted to fixing our mistakes, maybe we should first start taking the concept of a “forever pet” a little more seriously.
There is blame to share in the sad saga of Lucy the Labrador (“Woman upset over euthanized dog,” Jan. 1 Local & State). There are many troubling aspects of this story.
One of the tenets of the mission statement of the Kansas Humane Society is to educate the community in the care of animals. Nowhere in either account of the incident did it state that the society attempted to educate the owner regarding caring for a puppy, specifically Lab puppy behavior. A young Lab needs daily exercise, and consistent behavior expectations by the owner are mandatory. Behavior classes are also needed. Where was the society’s education mandate?
There was also no mention of any effort by the society to contact a Lab rescue group on this dog’s behalf. There are many great Lab rescue organizations in this area. With a bit of training and time, Lucy might have been a great companion to someone.
As a supporter of the Kansas Humane Society, I would like to know these issues are resolved and will not occur in the future.
More to export
Strange, isn’t it? At a time when the biggest export from the United States is gasoline, diesel and jet fuel (Dec. 31 Eagle), and while American prices for gas are more than $3 a gallon, some people are all hot to build a pipeline in order to get Canadian gunk down to Texas. Of course, this will mean that the refiners can sell even more of it overseas, because those places (Europe, Latin America and others) are willing to pay more for it. In return, the oil companies get profits, and the rest of us get the possible leaks and refinery pollution.
Those who want to believe that the politicians who travel the country shouting “drill, baby, drill” (so we can have even more fuel to export) have their best interests at heart can think about exactly how many long-term jobs will be created at the largely automated refineries, while the price at the pump goes up and up and up.
Ah, free enterprise. Don’t you love it?
PHILIP H. SCHNEIDER
I realize that The Eagle’s Opinion page must present right, left and centrist views. And although I think the content generally tends to favor the left, I enjoy reading all sides. That said, the syndicated political cartoon with the caption “The Photo ID” (Dec. 31 Opinion) went beyond the pale.
While voter fraud has always been a blight on our political process, organizations such as ACORN and other radical left-wing groups have institutionalized it. Active drives to fraudulently get illegal immigrants to vote have been reported.
People in our society are asked to identify themselves to get on an airplane, to make many retail purchases, to cash a check, etc. I was asked to identify myself to submit this letter. Leftists, however, would have us believe that asking people to identify themselves to vote somehow infringes upon their “rights.”
Let’s call it like it is: Leftists do not want people to have to show ID so that their promotion of fraudulent voting practices can continue. For The Eagle to sanction the accusation that Republicans are violating federal law in this matter was patently absurd and irresponsible.
Regarding “County leaders detail legislative agenda” (Dec. 15 Local & State): It is unfortunate that the state of Kansas and its governor chose not to support the national Affordable Care Act. Kansas’ loss will be other states’ gain.
Our state may as well have had the benefit of the federal tax dollars.
The Affordable Care Act is already benefiting many lower-middle-class Americans. It is also helping recently laid-off workers to survive our current economic downturn.
BILLY Q. McCRAY