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Letters to the Editors

Enact laws to control cats as well as dogs

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 15, 2002

Re: New county rules for dog owners won't save cats, Jan. 11 editorial.

Editor: The editorial stated that more cats than dogs were killed in Pasco County at the Animal Control shelter last year.

When is something going to be done about cats running free? There is a leash law for dogs; now they passed a law to confine female dogs while they are in heat. We also need these same laws for cats, and if the law is not followed, then a stiff fine should follow for both dog and cat owners.

Pet owners' blatant disregard for their neighbors has got to stop. Every one of my flower beds and the area under my trees are being used as litter boxes and the smell is awful. Also, any hour of the night you may wake from the howling or fighting of cats.

How do we go about getting a law passed for the control of cats as well as dogs?

I'm sorry that so many dogs and cats are killed every year, but if there was some type of control by the pet's owner, this would not be happening.
-- Jane Flurry, Holiday

Episode catching stray cats turns reader into dog lover

Re: New county rules for dog owners won't save cats, Jan. 10 editorial.

Editor: I would like to share my experience that happened August 2001.

I had a stray mother cat and four kittens occupying the space under my family's home. Until we moved into this neighborhood, I had never seen such a problem with stray cats.

I wanted to solve the problem and called the SPCA, which told me to call the police department, which told me to call the Animal Control in Land O'Lakes.

Animal Control was out of traps. They couldn't do anything unless the cats were contained. So I set out to contain some cats.

I went to Kmart and bought some canned food. I went home and placed it at the foot of the steps. I sat on the porch, clothes basket in hand and waited. First I caught a small black one and put him in a large box I had set aside for them. The second one I caught was a black and white one. As I placed it in the box, it turned and bit me hard. The first thing I thought of was rabies.

I called Animal Control in the morning and informed them of the kitten bite which occurred the night before and asked for them to please come and pick up the contained kittens.

The man told me that they do not pick up felines, only dogs. I was asked to drive 30 miles east to drop them off. I had no idea that getting rid of stray cats was this difficult. Now I know why there is such a problem. Nobody does anything. It's all up to the public.

I arrived at the shelter, expecting to be told that the kitten would be tested immediately. I was informed that it was an 11-day waiting game. They observe the animals. Needless to say, the kitten was just wild and I'm okay.

I have to wonder how long will this problem with stray cats go on before something is done. Before I moved into this neighborhood, I loved cats, but after all this, I'm a dog person.
-- Kimberly Goldsmith, Port Richey

Fees charged to adopt a pet at county shelter are too high

Re: Unwanted, unloved and facing a death sentence, Jan. 13.

Editor: Yes, there might be a problem with the animal population, but your article was a little too graphic.

And then when I turned the page to finish reading it, I was totally disgusted with the photo you chose to run with the article. A picture of dead dogs lying in a row was totally uncalled for. I actually cried when I saw that picture.

One problem is that if I want to go to Animal Control and bring home a stray, the fees they charge are high. Now, I understand that the county has to make money. They would rather put a dog or cat down than give it away. I know this to be true as I have tried before to get a pet there. The worker at the shelter told me up front that if no one takes the dog home, it will be put down. I told them I can give it a good home but since I couldn't afford the fees, I couldn't take it home with me.

The county makes money on almost everything around here. If people want to take home pets from a shelter, they should just give them away.

Now, I know the backlash from that -- if they can't afford the fees, how can they afford to have a pet? A responsible person will always afford a pet. I think it's time Pasco County rethinks its way about charging people to adopt pets.
-- Gary Feifer, Port Richey

Share your views

The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum as a rule).

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed. Anonymous letters or letters with initials only will not be printed.

Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

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