Shelter’s no-kill policy is the right one


Early May is known as the beginning of “kitten season.” Because many kittens are born in the first weeks of May, some recently weaned ones have been stealthily dropped in people’s yards or in front of local animal-care businesses. Recently, a five-week-old tabby kitten was dropped at the end of the walk leading to my house.

This kitten may or may not have been dropped in my yard because of the adopted “no-kill policy” of our Kanawha County Animal Shelter, which limits drop-offs of animals when the shelter is full. Whether it was or wasn’t, I believe the new policy is the right policy to eventually reduce the number of homeless animals in our county. It is right because euthanizing thousands of kittens, cats, puppies, and dogs every year at the shelter — almost 6,500 annually — did not reduce over time the number of animals that ended up there. Changing from an operation that reluctantly institutionalized the killing of them to one that works mightily to preserve their lives is the most effective long-term solution to reducing their numbers. The new policy strives to educate us about our responsibility to the animals that live among us: educating us to the absolute necessity to spay and neuter every kitten and puppy before it is old enough to reproduce; and to the demanding responsibilities of animal ownership that don’t allow us to drop them off at the shelter when their presence in our home becomes merely inconvenient. Of course, there are some people who have legitimate reasons for needing to give up their pets, and there must be support for them to do the right thing by these animals.

A solution cannot be achieved easily or quickly to a problem like homeless animals that has persisted for decades. But continuing with practices that never led to any real degree of success, and gave us the false idea that someone else was controlling the problem, resulted in failure.

I strongly support our shelter director Chelsea Staley and the dedicated and energized volunteers and staff she has inspired since she took over leadership. Change is hard and slow to achieve, but well worth the effort if the goal is to improve the quality of the lives of all community members, the two and four-footed ones alike.

Marjorie Clarkson


Decades of Democrats have left state broken


Harry Browne said it best, “Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, ‘See, if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.’”

The Gazette’s recent editorial seems to suggest that not only should West Virginians be content with our crutches — we should be grateful for them. This editorial correctly pointed out that Appalachia has “multitudes of families needing the government safety net,” and asks in bewilderment why Mountaineers are turning to the Republican Party. Answer: because we aren’t stupid. Why, when decades of Democrat rule has left us impoverished and dependent on handouts, would we vote for their empty promises again? The better question is, why are we only now recognizing that our future lies with the party of Lincoln and Reagan, of prosperity and growth?

We don’t need big government to fix our social problems — big government needs our social problems as an excuse for its own existence. This West Virginian is proud to be a Republican voter.

Samuel Settle


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