I read with utter dismay that Commissioner Gary Bechtel was the lone holdout for a sensible spay/neuter ordinance because it would infringe too much on the rights of individual pet owners. Really? Seriously? What about the individual rights of the millions of loving, adoptable pets in this country who are euthanized annually? What about their right to a loving home and good care?
There are low-cost spay/neuter options available and most veterinarians have care credit plans. Yes, females are twice as expensive to alter as males. Bechtel needs to do his homework as to just how prolific female dogs/cats are. A cat can have litters every few months. In Bibb County alone, there are thousands of animals euthanized annually. If a person cannot afford to be responsible and spay/neuter their animals they do not deserve the privilege of an animal companion. Period. End of story.
At one time the only method of euthanization was putting massive numbers of animals in an enclosed container and gassing them. They gasped for breath, biting and tearing at each other viciously in a futile attempt to live. Lethal injection is much more humane, but still the result of people too lazy or ignorant or just plain uncaring, to get them altered. Bechtel should be required to watch every single euthanization for one week at the Animal Control Center.
A loving dog or cat is given a needle. The light in those hopeful eyes is quickly snuffed out. They only thing they did to receive their fate was being born. I would like to know if Bechtel would then throw up the incomprehensible, feeble utterance about the rights of individual pet owners. Im sure the beleaguered Sarah Tenon would agree. She has a thankless job as director of the Animal Welfare Center and is the first to get the criticisms. People who are proven to be the owners of unaltered pets should be fined, not protected.
Microchipping only locates an animal; it does nothing to prevent helpless puppies and kittens from being born. Every Saturday there are beautiful, adoptable pets in The Telegraph. In the lower right corner of that page animal rescue groups are listed. Please join the adorable AC Pup and see to it that there are fewer and fewer hopeful faces on that page.
Our current Purr-child was rescued Jan. 9, 2011, the day before the ice storm on Jan. 10. We once rescued a darling kitten from a north Georgia filling station. Another kitty became ours because dogs had cornered her on our patio. I practice what I preach. A common sense spay/neuter ordinance was long overdue. It is not humane or OK to let pets breed indiscriminately and then dump their progeny on animal control. The animal control folks have their hands full and I know full well would prefer to be out of the euthanization business. They do care. There are few locations in our state, if any, that have TNR -- trap, neuter, return -- programs for strays. Its said in Scripture that God knows when even a small sparrow falls from the sky. It must break his mighty heart to see how humans treat his creations that he made with such love.
Sherry G. Lazzaro is a resident of Warner Robins.