Our readers write

Our readers write

Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 9:16 pm
By: Area readers

Pet owners deserve blame To The Editor: In the society we live in today, so many things are based on your last name and not who you are as a person. Even knowing that, I was still amazed at what I read in The Messenger the other day. The story covering the top half of front page about Pudge, the poor little puppy who met his untimely demise, was so one- sided and sad. And although I understand there was a story to be told, I am wondering why this story made front page, compared to some other recent stories concerning neglect of animals that never even made the paper. For example, my neighbor a few doors down that had a male German Shepherd pinned up in her back yard. She didn’t want the dog anymore so she allowed the dog to suffer as it starved to death. The Humane Society was called in on more than one occasion and nothing was ever done until after the dog had died. And then the only thing that happened was a small slap on the wrist for the pet owner. Why was such a cruel death allowed to happen? Why didn’t that story make front page? Was it because the owner’s last name wasn’t Tanner? I can understand the Tanner family was upset over the loss of their pet. However, if they truly cared about their precious animals, then why would they allow them to run loose in the road? I myself have three dogs, and I always make sure they are contained in my house or my fenced in back yard. The Tanners seem to think it OK for their animals to be brutally hit by vehicles. In a quote written in The Messenger, Mr. Tanner states, “If he’d gotten killed by a car, I could understand it.” Mrs. Tanner added, “Yes, it happens in the country. We’ve had that heartache before.” According to The Messenger, vehicles hit both Pudge’s mother and sibling. Why would a responsible pet owner think this is OK? In Pudge’s case, he was picked up and humanely euthanized. I’m not saying he deserved to have his life ended, however, he wasn’t brutally struck and killed. He didn’t suffer. He was picked up because someone made a phone call to have him removed. He wasn’t contained on his owner’s property and, from what I understand, he also didn’t have any identification on his collar so that the owners could be contacted. That is neglect, pure and simple. The owners are more responsible for the untimely death of their “beloved pet” than anyone else involved. I’m not saying mistakes weren’t made. But the mistakes started with the pet owners allowing the pet to run free and not having any way for the animal control officer to identify where the pet lived. On many occasions, I have seen Darrell Baty, the animal control officer, pick up an animal and return it to their owner. I have seen firsthand the animal control officer water people’s pets that had empty water bowls. He genuinely cares about animals and people. He goes out of his way to help and educate pet owners. He doesn’t pick up dogs and cats to be cruel or to inconvenience pet owners. He does it because it’s his job to make sure our pets aren’t running the streets and getting hit by vehicles. He does it because he doesn’t want an animal to suffer in the heat with no food and water. He does it because he cares! If The Messenger is going to print a story, it needs to be the whole story. It needs to contain both sides of a story. The people in Union City who have dealt with the animal control officer know he cares. They have seen him at work every day saving our pets. Yes, there is another side of his job that upsets the public. He has to have citations issued to those pet owners who neglect to take proper care of their animals. He wouldn’t have to do that if we all took care of our pets, if we would have them spade or neutered to prevent all the stray animals running loose. He doesn’t deserve to have his name drug through the mud because other people weren’t responsible enough to take proper care of their animals or because other people didn’t do their job correctly. He did his job. He received a call from dispatch to go pick up two stray dogs. A lady on the property told him that she saw the two dogs dropped off. He picked up the dogs and took them to the shelter. He did his job. And now his job is in jeopardy? All because someone wants to blame their neglectful actions on anyone but themselves. Michele (Siegrist) Clark Union City Editor’s note: After an investigation by the Union City Police Department, the animal control officer was terminated as a city employee. Animal ‘shelter’ needed in UC To The Editor: Yes, the Union City animal control operation and the “pound” are, and have been, a disgrace for years. Sue Archer’s letter should have been on the front page. A few people have tried to get a Humane Society going, but there was not enough interest or financial support to get it off the ground. Now, after the horrible incident with the Tanners’ dog, people may take notice of this disgraceful situation. There are animal lovers and those that aren’t. I am a lover of animals — they are God’s creation, given life, like you and me. They deserve a chance (which they were deprived of at our so-called “shelter,” Ha!Ha!). Let’s find a good place, hire good decent people and make overselves proud. There has been too much abuse and killing. Mary Lynn Reithel Union City Published in The Messenger 7.2.08

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