I emphasize with Matt Schwinn’s protests (Letter to the Editor, Oct. 3) that the city unfairly tightened current licensing laws for dogs. No one wants more rules and restraints.
For the sake of discussion, however, let’s consider another angle. I believe the new push for compliance is only trying to get those not currently licensing (about 70% of the public) to join the 30% who are. Animal Services is asking everyone to pay their fair share of providing animal control services to the community. Moreover, high licensing and vaccination compliance in a community are two of the lead indicators for low euthanasia rates of unwanted pets, a rabies free zone and high pet owner responsibility.
Where does our money go?
Citizens use Animal Services to pick up strays and injured pets. Dead animals are scraped off roads so we don’t have to drive by the bloated bodies of unrestrained pets on the way to work or school. Animal Services rescues abused and neglected animals from deplorable conditions. Do you remember the thousands of chickens that died because the owner abandoned them outside Patterson last year? Animal Services was involved in rescuing the living and cleaning up the dead.
We expect Animal Services to aggressively pursue getting adoptable pets out of our shelters alive to homes and rescues, not to mention educating the public about options for care and the responsibilities of pet ownership. We demand that the shelters treat animals humanely until claimed or euthanized. No longer is it acceptable to kill thousands of adoptable dogs and cats each year in this county, as happens now.
All of these services cost money.
I could say it’s not my problem if my pets are not involved, but I won’t because I’ve seen some of the thousands of dead cat and dog carcasses in barrels being wheeled out of Animal Services. I expect a change in how we treat animals in this community, as I know others do too. Higher compliance for licensing and vaccinations seems a small price to pay to make it happen.
Augusta Farley, Patterson Resident