Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Letters: Discarded animals, County budget, Pit bull problem

August 13, 2003

Help for discarded animals

To the editor:

Thanks to The Mirror and Dr. Vickie Smith for calling attention to the sad situation of discarded "pets" in this area.

Leavenworth County does not offer a solution to this problem. There is no county shelter, and Dr. Smith is the only alternative the city of Tonganoxie has to offer these unwanted animals. "Humane" death comes at the hands of veterinarians.

Dogs and cats left to survive on their own can die horrible deaths. They are shot, run over, starved and suffer from parasites. Their coats and feet get matted and filled with burs. Some are picked up and used for bait and rewards to train fighting dogs. Unaltered pets (purebred, mutts and felines) contribute to the overpopulation problem. This vicious cycle is preventable.

Maybe a solution to the feral cat population is a trap, spay-neuter and release program. These animals are wild. They have learned to survive and, with a little help from their friends, could live out their natural solitary life.

Have a Heart is a local nonprofit group that earns money to help individuals in need pay to have their pets spayed or neutered. When a pet is taken to the vet for this procedure, we will make a payment to the vet to apply to the cost. We have struggled for several years to relieve some of these issues.

Thanks to local support for our group, volunteers and fund-raisers, we have helped numerous animals. In fact, we are planning a fund-raiser during Wednesday's fair parade at the former Ratliff Drug store. Stop by and visit with members of our group.

Phyllis Shilling,

Attend county budget hearing

To the editor:

Admittedly, my math skills are somewhat outdated (University of Kansas graduate, 1961).

I took KU physics before we had calculators. However, simple arithmetic works here.

According to the Aug. 6 edition of The Mirror, the county mill levy will increase by 1 mill. No problem, right?

However, that alone is a 2.5 percent increase in your tax bill (1 mill, plus the existing 40-mill levy). More seriously, that mill levy will be applied to an average 9 percent rise in the appraised value of property countywide, which produces an average tax increase of about 10 percent. Taxes on a piece of property valued at $160,000 were $1,800 this year, but will increase to approximately $2,000 next year.

Wake up, folks. There will be a hearing on the proposed county budget at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Leavenworth County Courthouse, 300 Walnut St., Leavenworth.

Wally Brawner,

The pit bull problem

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to promote an awareness of a problem that is going on way too close to home. The city of Lawrence has a serious issue with illegal pit bull fighting. Although this is a felony charge in Kansas and most other states, zero arrests have been made.

Not only is this "sport'" as they call it, extremely cruel to the animals, it is also a big threat to community safety. Dog fighting goes hand in hand with illegal drug use and sale, the use of illegal weapons, illegal gambling and gang activity. Another alarming fact is that most of these dogfighters are between the ages of 16 and 24, some even younger. This is a scary thought considering the link between animal and human violence.

In Lawrence, pit bulls are a status symbol, and they are also used as weapons. The dogs are starved, brutally beaten, given steroids and fed gunpowder. This is only to name a few of the cruel acts that are put upon these animals. Another factor to consider is that they are over-breeding, and in some cases to the extent that there may be 30 or more dogs at one residence.

Pit bulls have horrible reputations as being vicious killers, when really they are naturally very loving, loyal companions.

Something must be done about this issue. It is getting worse. There is at least one fight every day in Lawrence. The laws need to be enforced and these criminals need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Kris Taylor,

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