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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Pets in Ketchikan
By Marie Zellmer


September 21, 2012

I have recently had to deal with our local animal "shelter" after I got two dogs from an unexpected breeding. I can say this, the responsibility of any pet and its ability to breed is up to the owner. I myself have agonized over the concept of getting my dogs fixed, mostly because I know they will never have puppies unless I want them to. I think the big issue is not about about people who breed purebreds or designer mixed breeds. It is an issue over the responsibility of the owner, and the lack of proper animal control by our local "shelter".

My own wonderful, although challenging, dogs were accidental because of the lack of care their mother received by its original owner, who did not keep the mother in season properly contained.

I am always upset when I see dogs wandering the streets at night, and I know that anyone who lets their dog out after five o'clock will never have to worry about it getting picked up. In fact you can let your dog wander the streets up until ten in the morning and not worry about it.

The issue is, those dogs wandering free have become a bane and irritation to responsible pet owners. Especially when they band together to hunt other animals (which is what killed one of my own cats).

The true challenge is not to get angry with people who don't contain their animals, allowing them to get pregnant, it is with our own personal choices. The best option is that animals should be picked up by the shelter at any time, day or night, and that all owners keep their pets under constant control. But this can only happen if people take real responsibility for their animals, and if the "shelter" steps up to the job they need to do.

Marie Zellmer
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Local Ketchikanite, and pet lover, and trainer, who has responsibly had animals all my life."

Received September 20, 2012 - Published September 21, 2012



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