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Letters to the Editor

Animal shelter not intended as dump for unwanted pets

The overcrowded conditions at the Gwinnett animal shelter have certainly made the news lately, and there has been an overwhelming response by rescue groups and individuals helping to save animals from euthanasia.

It's important to note, however, that the overcrowding is not the fault of the dogs brought in on the neglect case ("Pit bulls crowd shelter," July 29). The two backyard breeders sitting in the county jail are the ones to blame. These guys apparently didn't care properly for the dogs, and one can only imagine the type of homes to which their dogs were sold.

Gwinnett County's animal problems extend well beyond the occasional neglect or abuse case. The real problem is the citizens of Gwinnett. Go to the shelter on any Saturday morning, and you'll see dog and cat owners lined up to turn in the animal that's too old, too big, too playful, too much trouble, not worth taking on the move to Florida, and my personal favorite, "We have too many." Ever heard of spay and neuter?

Our animal control shelter's purpose is to provide a safe place for stray animals or the abused or neglected. The shelter was never intended to be a dumping ground for people who refuse to live up to their responsibilities. When an individual or family decides to become a pet owner, they should commit to that animal for its entire life, not until it grows up, you move or the kids tire of caring for it.

A share of the responsibility for overcrowding for the shelter falls at the feet of our county commission. Animal control has to euthanize animals every week because we have a shelter designed to meet the needs of Gwinnett County in the 1970s. The shelter is inadequate in terms of isolation, disease prevention and space. A new shelter has continually been delayed because other "more worthy" projects receive more of the budget.

It's a travesty that animal control officers euthanize adoptable animals because of irresponsible pet owners and a county commission that has bigger fish to fry. Caring and responsible people should demand more of our leaders.

- Marcia Gathercoal

Lilburn

Oil companies keep gouging us in crisis

With the hurricane disaster in the Gulf Coast, gasoline prices have shot up past $3 a gallon and are headed much higher. President Bush's answer for this is to loan the oil companies oil from our reserves so they can give you and I more $3 to $5 per gallon gasoline. What a guy.

I can remember when a president would not allow the gouging of Americans because of any disaster, and I can remember when our churches condemned such cowardly actions. What is lower than kicking people when they are down? That seems like such a long time ago when decency prevailed in this civilized country, but it hasn't been.

Our economy stands to be shattered by the high costs of energy, and this can only happen when we have a president that stands by and allows it happen and when his cronies in Congress back him up.

If anybody believes we are not being robbed in America, just look at who is getting the money: Uncle Oil. The question for all Americans is: What kind of a disaster will it take before George Bush calls off the oil dogs?

- Terry Gilbreath

Suwanee