By Laura Attwood
September 24, 2012
In the last 5 years, the Animal Control statistics reflect the humane euthanasia of 2,151 animals at our shelter. This is an astounding number and can be chalked up to irresponsible owners who fail to spay and neuter as well as irresponsible breeders that overpopulate the area. People prefer to keep quiet about what goes on in the shelter, but not me. Ignorance sure is bliss but some of us are not blind to what goes on in this town and believe many should know the truth about the overpopulation problem in hopes of educating people.
Printed here is a quip shared with me by a Ketchikan local. It has been modified slightly to keep their identity private, but truly brings light to the table on the problems we face as a community.
Does anyone else stop and think about this tragedy? Approximately 450 animals from the shelter are euthanized each year here. That is more than one each day. Does anyone ever stop to think about the veterinarian in charge of cleaning up this mess? The person responsible for stabbing an animal with a needle 450 times a year and waiting for them to draw their last breath? Does anyone else think about the Animal Control employees who have to pick who lives and who dies?
I think about it a lot. I have made it my place to hold some of these animals in their final seconds of life. I have shared the pain with veterinarians through this process and it kills me each and every time.
Yet, we still have people hoping to breed their dogs for a quick buck. These dogs are "for sale" everywhere, including on SitNews. It is actually illegal to sell animals in Ketchikan without an animal establishment permit, but at any given time, you can find a cute puppy for sale. And at any given time, you can find a mutt at the shelter, praying for a second chance while their minutes tick away to their demise.
I would like to commend the people at Animal Control for the work they do because it is a difficult job. I commend the veterinarians in this town who have to clean up the messes of irresponsible breeders looking to "breed their blue eyed dog with another blue eyed dog because they want blue eyed puppies, irregardless of breed". I am hoping with the new animal task force, the people on SaleCycle, SitNews, and the people running ads in the Local Paper will start getting their fines for selling without a permit because they are undoubtedly helping to contribute to the overpopulation problem.
Margaret's share is a classic that has circulated the internet for years and is honestly an eye opening share. Please stop to think about the ramifications of unaltered pets, overbreeding, and a lack of homes and resources to shelter these unwanted animals before bringing your own litter into this world or allowing your intact female to roam.
About: "Animal Advocate for Ketchikan, lover of all things with fur."
Received September 20, 2012 - Published September 24, 2012
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