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To the Editor:
I am writing this letter as a private citizen and not as the animal cruelty investigator because I am going to say a few things that may spark a few tempers and I don’t want the Humane Society to suffer because of it.  This letter represents what I deal with every day. If you see yourself in this letter, shame on you!

Over the years I’ve worked with the Carroll County Humane Society, I have heard numerous complaints from people who become upset with us because we do not fulfill their needs by accepting an animal they no longer want. They have questioned our worth to the community, demanding to know how we can call ourselves a Humane Society when we can’t take in all the litters of unwanted kittens. Time after time, the complaints come in and yet our dedicated volunteers persevere. Quite remarkable when you consider most people, when faced with disrespect, would simply cease their involvement.

The service to this community by the Humane Society comes in the form of an assistance program to help defray the cost of spaying and neutering. Cost to our organization is over $20,000 a year, every year. So I think a few people noticed. I see names on the coupons matching ones with very sarcastic remarks. Yet no one is turned away. Over $5,000 was spent spaying medical costs for strays that were injured and would surely die a horrible death without our dedication. The injured stray dogs generally come into the pound and county doesn’t see fit to have them checked so we do it. Are these not “humane services?” Personally, I believe it is more humane so spay a cat rather than house her and the 42,000 more cats she and her offspring will conceive over the next five years.

Also provided is cruelty investigations, which create the most controversy. Everyone has an opinion on how the job should be done and when a case isn’t handled the way a caller thinks it should be, we are told we are worthless. The laws of Ohio are the guidelines for cruelty investigations. Animals can’t be taken from their owner solely on the word of an anonymous caller. There must be proof a law has been broken. Some can’t be taken at all due to circumstances, but when it is a must, we find a way. We provide humane education for the care and feeding of domestic animals. If we are able to teach people how to properly care for their animals, the result is a happy, healthy pet. I think that’s humane.

Without a shelter, no animals are killed for space or because someone was scratched or bitten. There is no such thing as a no-kill shelter. A shelter can only house so many animals. When that number is reached, what next? They can put one in as one goes out, but the numbers in far outweigh the out numbers. If they move animals to other shelters, some will die for space. That is a fact! With shelters, the term “no kill” is an oxymoron and used to get donations because that is what people want to hear. They don’t want to know what really happens. The truth is that animals die because there are too many born. Cats reproduce at alarming rates and dogs are over bred by backyard breeders looking to make a few bucks. Another truth people need to know is who buy those animals (mostly dogs) from this type of breeder are contributing to the over population problems. They give them money and it keeps them open for business. We need breeders- reputable ones. If you see animals living in horrible surroundings or are not shown the parents of living conditions, don’t buy the animal: turn them in. you are not saving the animal, you are making it possible for more animals to suffer. No one wants to hear they are the root of the problem. Everyone wants the happily every after story. It’s time we give one to the animals!

Shirl Berry
Carrollton, OH     

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