Archive for Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Letter to the editor: Pet overpopulation puts strain on many citizens

August 6, 2008

To the editor:

Across the United States, animal shelters are filled with millions of cats, dogs, kittens and puppies in need of permanent homes. These are beautiful, healthy animals that have been cast away by people who were not willing to make a lifelong commitment and take responsibility for making sure their pets don't add to the pet overpopulation burden.

Pet overpopulation in Leavenworth County affects all of us. Thousands of our tax dollars go to care for lost, abandoned and unwanted pets, and thousands more pay for their destruction and disposal.

In 1992, the International Society for Animal Rights began National Homeless Animals' Day to help raise awareness of the tragedy of pet overpopulation. Over the years, animal advocacy groups in 11 nations have joined the effort, making the National Homeless Animals' Day into an international event.

As it's now known, International Homeless Animals' Day is commemorated each year on the third Saturday of August. On Aug. 16 this year, we remember the innocent dogs and cats who die needlessly because of human irresponsibility.

There are two main ways to end this tragic waste of life and public resources. The most important is spaying and neutering pet dogs and cats. This not only prevents unwanted litters, but can contribute to preventing health and behavior problems in companion animals. The second component of battling pet overpopulation is for people to opt to adopt, and then fulfill that commitment, providing shelter, nourishment, medical care, exercise, training, love and companionship for the life of the animal.

There are many low-cost spay and neuter resources in our area and plenty of help for animal behavior challenges. Leavenworth Animal Control can assist with information in both of these areas, or people can simply look on the Internet. Check out www.nmhpkc. org/fixkc and www.aspca.org/pro_behavior.

If you're ready to make a lifetime commitment to a homeless cat or dog, please visit Leavenworth Animal Control, or the Fort Leavenworth Veterinary Clinic, or check out available animals at www.petfinder.org.

God bless the animals.

Crystal Swann Blackdeer,

Tonganoxie

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