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Letters to the Editors

Solving animal overpopulation should be everyone's concern

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 3, 1998

Editor: As a volunteer for the Pasco Animal Welfare Society, I get phone calls daily from people who have been feeding stray cats with kittens in their yards. These caring people did not ask the cats to come to them but cannot stand to see them go hungry. Some of these cats are feral (wild, untamed) and while they will bond somewhat to the humans that feed them, they are still wild animals.

These animals have been domesticated by man, the supposedly intelligent, civilized and caring species, and then abandoned, leaving them to roam the streets, procreate and overpopulate. The task of feeding them becomes overwhelming for people and Animal Control, and in most cases, they can't find anyone to help with the dilemma. This is when I get the sad, frantic calls.

I explain to people that PAWS is not a shelter, that we concentrate on spaying and neutering, that all our foster homes are full with a waiting list for the space an adoption creates. I tell them that we feel they have two choices. One is to trap the animals and take them to Animal Control to be euthanized; the other is to trap, spay or neuter and release, giving the animal a chance at life without the suffering overpopulation creates. I further explain that PAWS will not be involved in trapping the animals, but we will help with spay and neuter fees if needed. These caring people just want the problem to go away; they don't have the energy to deal with the problem. My point here is that it is my problem, your problem and everyone's problem.

We must end the suffering. We must reduce the number of animals euthanized each day at shelters and at Animal Control, left to suffer and starve on the streets, be tortured or die horrible deaths from disease.

For the future, the only answer is to spay and neuter. Unfortunately that doesn't solve the immediate problem. One solution, sad as it is, is to pass legislation mandating Animal Control to pick up these cats and euthanize them mercifully when the territory they occupy belongs to humans who don't want them as neighbors. Another solution is to spay or neuter and release the animal. I urge everyone to go to phone books and, under the government office listings, find the names and addresses of city, county and state representatives. Call them, write them and let them know that they as your representatives must address this issue.

Support us, the Pasco Animal Welfare Society, in our effort to open a non-profit spay and neuter clinic in Pasco County. PAWS is a volunteer organization raising funds to spay and neuter cats and dogs and help in all animal welfare. For information on PAWS, call 868-2218.
-- Marj McConkey, president
Pasco Animal Welfare Society Inc.
Homeowners groups need
to focus on improvements

Editor: Congratulations, Jim Turtle.

I'm so glad someone like Jim has issued a call for homeowners associations from west Pasco to enforce deed restrictions and code enforcements.

I hope the Homeowners Association of Holiday Lake Estates attends.

We have the worst case of weeds and cars parked on lawns and streets, even junk cars that have sat in driveways and yards for months and years.

Holiday Lake Estates once was a great, neat place to live with nice lawns and yards with shrubs and flowers. But now it's like a ghetto. I'm ashamed when we get company to bring them here. All the association cares about is bingo. Please make this a better place.
-- Bill Munda, Holiday
Not returning calls
is just bad business

Editor: I would like to express my concern about a growing trend by businesses in our area.

The problem I keep running into is this: If you need a company to perform a service for you, you call them for an estimate and guess what? They never call back or show up.

This isn't just me, and it isn't just once in awhile. It's all the time!

I hope these companies are reading because I want them to know that not only will I never call them again, but I will tell my neighbors, family, friends and co-workers not to use them either.

My message to them is if you're not going to call back or show up, do us all a big favor: Don't advertise your business.
-- Bob Briggs, Port Richey

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