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Solving the unwanted pet problem

by Sarah Valentini
| June 12, 2010 9:00 PM

I am writing in response to "PETS: Felony Needed for Abuse," and I am sorry but Ms. Born's statement about the animals at the Kootenai Humane Society is inaccurate.

Although it is true the Society could benefit greatly from improved housing for their temporary residents, the animals at that shelter receive more love from the volunteers and employees than many animals receive in a lifetime.

Very rarely is an animal a resident of that shelter for more than a year. There is a home for every animal that goes through their doors. Their chances have been greatly increased by the temperament testing that was implemented a little over three years ago.

This temperament testing enables society employees to best match pets with owners. If the humane society were to decide to euthanize "unadoptable" pets (there is very rarely a case where a pet is "unadoptable") then the shelter would be empty.

Pet adoption is a special thing and takes a very special person. Sometimes it takes a little longer for the "right" person to come for one animal than it does for another. To euthanize an animal simply because one person may feel it is "unadoptable" would put so many animals on the chopping block.

For example, black dogs and cats take a little longer to adopt as well as pit bulls, rottweilers (and anything that resembles those particular breeds), and dogs over 3 years old. Should we kill them simply because it is going to take a little longer for their forever home to come and find them? Euthanize them for their own good, stick them in a freezer for a while, and then transport the bodies of these "unwanted" pets to the dump?

The Humane Society is an amazing place where people do all they can to improve the lives of every animal that comes through their doors, including housing them in their own homes temporarily for recovery of medical procedures, taming of "wild" puppies and kittens, and giving birth. These people work harder than a lot of you who would say they aren't doing enough.

I worked there for over a year and by far it was the most rewarding job with the friendliest people and the greatest success stories of animals young and old, big and small. I would suggest anyone curious as to what goes on there should contact the Humane Society and ask about their volunteer program. See what goes on for yourself before spouting that euthanasia is a necessary solution.

As for "aggressive programs for spay and neuter," have you ever tried to find one of these low cost spay and neuter places? They are somewhat difficult to find if you do not know where to look. Veterinary hospitals do not advertise them because it would take away business. The shelter advertises but not many people would think to look there. The newspaper rarely advertises because these clinics cannot afford to run the ads constantly so they run them in the spring when most animals come into heat.

Most people are willing to do the right thing if the information is given to them. These low cost places are on limited funding and do not profit enough to educate people more. Increasing their efforts for education would also mean increasing their prices.

Most people do not know a cat can become pregnant by 6 months of age, sometimes sooner, and can then become pregnant shortly after delivery of the first litter. Most people do not know that a male dog will travel up to 20 miles to locate a female dog in heat. I do not believe people to be deliberately ignorant but I do believe them to be uninformed.

I have taken the liberty of attaching the numbers for a couple of Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinics I have had experience with and recommend.

Kootenai Spay and Neuter (208) 772-7310

Lake City Spay and Neuter (208) 664-5629

And of course, the Kootenai Humane Society has a Low Income Program as well as a long list of other options to help you get your pet spayed or neutered. Contact the Kootenai Humane Society at (208) 772-4019

Sarah Valentini is a Post Falls resident.

Editor's note: The Press does publish, at no cost, stories advising readers when special low-cost spay and neuter clinics are held.

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