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Letters: Real need is more spaying, neutering

Real need is more spaying, neutering
First, I’d like to say thank you to the Salisbury Post and to Kathy Chaffin on their continuous reporting on animal euthanasia and the importance of spay/neuter.
People need to be reminded of the numbers of pets put to death in Rowan County. Over 400 are eliminated monthly with a death toll that climbs in the spring due to unaltered animals.
Second, I want to thank the state and the Department of Agriculture for stepping up for animal rights. Even though the new rules are not the complete package, they are a step in the right direction. They give the unwanted a certain amount of respect.
I want to stress the importance of spay/neuter. We wouldn’t be having this debate if we all would be responsible pet owners. Please do not consider a new puppy or kitten if you have no intentions of having them altered. For every new litter born, more animals must die.
Even in a tough economy, there are options. The Humane Society of Rowan County sponsors a low-cost spay/neuter shuttle. The cost is nearly half price and they have another clinic coming up May 11. Call 704-636-5700 and leave a message. Or, contact the Webster low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the former James Hospital building at 704-216-0300. A final option is to call your personal veterinarians and ask if they participate in the countywide spay/neuter clinic.
Finally, I want to remind people of the Rowan County leash law. It stipulates that all animals must be restrained and not allowed to roam free. This prevents bites, car accidents, and unwanted litters of puppies. It also requires that any owner of a female dog or cat in heat must properly confine that animal. Just chaining or leashing that animal does not constitute confinement and is in violation of the law.
ó Tammy Lynn Walser
Rockwell
Officials doth protest too much
Why are Rowan County officials protesting so loudly about requests to view the euthanasia of dogs and cats? Why do Leonard Wood, Clai Martin and others insist on “keeping the doors closed” to the public and carrying out the gassing operation in secret? Could there be something to hide?
Citizens and taxpayers have the right to verify that their dogs and cats are being handled and killed humanely. State laws require humane euthanasia. If there is no wrongdoing, why isn’t the euthanasia process open to the media and to the public? Why do they fear public observation?
Could it be that animals are mistreated? Could it be that gassing animals with carbon monoxide is cruel? The Rowan gas chamber cannot even measure the amount of gas put into it. Also, there is no way to accurately determine when animals lose consciousness or die because they are inside of a gas filled chamber.
Why have Rowan officials resorted to name calling and exaggeration? They have “attacked the messenger” to divert attention away from a critical question. That question is, are animals being handled and euthanized in a humane manner? There is a strong suspicion that animals are being mistreated and inhumanely killed.
Clai Martin, Leonard Wood and other county officials believe the public should forget about normal oversight and accountability. Their position seems to be that the public should just “trust us.” Trusting government employees without the safeguards of verification and accountability is a dangerous thing. Without oversight, misconduct goes unaddressed.
On the subject of animal control euthanasia, Richard Weintraub, a Durham attorney stated, “I could imagine abuses going on, and the public worrying that abuses are going on, and sunshine could both lessen public concerns and prevent abuse.”
Open the doors, Mr. Wood, and the let the sunshine in.
ó Peter MacQueen III
Southport
MacQueen is president of the Humane Society of Eastern N.C.
Volunteers deserve thanks
Communities In Schools of Rowan County, a United Way agency, held its annual recognition event on Saturday, April 25, to coincide with National Volunteer Recognition Week.
Our organization and the children of Rowan County have enjoyed working with nearly 270 volunteers this school year as they have mentored and tutored 230 students at 11 schools.
From September through the end of March, our volunteers have dedicated over 3,000 hours of service helping children with math or listening to a child read.
On behalf of all our staff and our Board of Directors, we are grateful for the dedication, commitment and caring spirit of this volunteer team.
With financial support from The Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, The Margaret C. Woodson Foundation, The Salisbury Community Foundation, The Speedway Children’s Charities, Target Foundation, The Rowan-Salisbury School System, Office of Juvenile Justice, The Department of Public Instruction and local community members, we are able to provide a variety of services to support local children and their families.
But it is through our volunteers ó who embody our belief that each child deserves a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult ó that we see changes in students’ academics, behavior and attendance. Thanks again to all our volunteers; you make Rowan County a better place to be!
ó Sandy Buechler
Salisbury
Buechler is executive director of Community in Schools of Rowan County.

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