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'Family member' deserved better

Re: Economy, divorce leave pets behind | story, July 18

'Family member' deserved better

"That was a family dog," Kate Wilson is quoted as saying after Max, her 2-year-old black Labrador, was put down. It seems to me his family gave up on him!

Ms. Wilson moved to a place that wouldn't accept Max. Instead of finding a place where she could take him, she gave him to her husband, whom she was separated from and who obviously didn't want the dog. Is that the right thing to do to a family member? Then, when she was notified that Max was at the shelter, she delayed attempting to pick him up for almost a week. Again, is this the thing to do to a family member? Is Ms. Wilson that naive that she doesn't realize what happens to unclaimed dogs?

"Something came up" and Ms. Wilson didn't pick up Max when she was supposed to so he got put down like so many thousands of other "family members" who have been abandoned recently. What was so important that Ms. Wilson forgot her devoted family member, who was most likely scared and confused by his situation and wondering where his family was?

Could she not at least contact the shelter to let them know she was delayed? Monday comes and Ms. Wilson couldn't reach anyone. The next day she gets the news that since no one came for him, he was put down and she is "devastated"?

Hello! The shelter is not a doggie day care center! If this dog meant so much to her, why wasn't she there immediately when she first found out where he was?

Thousands of dogs — I'm sorry, "family members" — go through the doors of these shelters daily across the country, with the vast majority of them never leaving on their own. We won't even get into what actually happens to them. Perhaps if more people witnessed how coldly the lives of their "family members" came to an end, we might be able to do more about the pet overpopulation problem.

In today's throwaway society, even the devoted family pet has become a castoff. "Can't afford it," "not enough time," "we had a baby" — those of us involved with rescue have heard it all. The one who is generally the most devoted family member seems to be the first to be discarded when times get tough.

Yes, there are situations where people just don't have a choice and that's a tough one to make. As the article stated, shelters all over are facing budget cuts and more and more people are dumping their animals at these "shelters," blindly thinking that "Buffy" will get a good home. The odds are against them. Far more are put down than get new homes.

While Ms. Wilson seems to want to blame the shelter for putting down her "family member," it is my opinion that she is the person responsible. At the end of his short life when he needed his family the most, they were nowhere to be found because "something came up."

Gary Borland, Clearwater

Re: Mayor to BP: Pony up for ads | story, July 15

City is killing its businesses

Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard's recent trip to New Orleans concerning the oil spill looks to me like more grandstanding, showboating, pious posturing and wasteful spending from him.

Meanwhile, Clearwater continues to impoverish its residents with sky-high taxes and exorbitant 16 percent taxes and franchise fees on electricity. The taxes and fees on power bills are so high they would embarrass even an organized crime protection racket.

Clearwater (not BP) is the real business killer. This city constantly harasses businesses with excessive sign and mural regulations. The city's over-the-top business license fees, permit fees, sewer fees and intangible taxes are killing businesses. Example: Look at the huge number of for-rent signs on Drew Street.

Bob Snow, Clearwater

Re: Teachers balk at furloughs | story, July 18

Wake up to new economic reality

Pinellas County teachers, wake up and smell the coffee. You are educated professionals who know all too well the entire country is in an economic slump. I have a great respect for the teaching profession, but I am tired of the whining on the part of the teachers union about possible furloughs.

Police and fire departments in Pinellas County are facing cutbacks. No one likes the idea, but the reality is municipal, county, state and federal budgets are being slashed in all areas. Why should teachers be exempt? Wouldn't your teachers union rather have unpaid furloughs than see some teachers lose their jobs entirely?

If you keep up your self-serving attitude and state of denial, you stand to lose public support. At least you have jobs, while many who send their children to your schools do not.

Elaine Somoza, Clearwater

His generosity extended far

George Steinbrenner's generosity extended far beyond Tampa Bay. As a Virginia Tech alumnus, I was very impressed when, in the wake of the 2007 campus shootings, he brought the Yankees to Blacksburg for an exhibition game to boost the spirits of the students, faculty and staff. In addition, the Yankees also donated $1 million to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.

Jim Swope, Palm Harbor

'Family member' deserved better 07/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:50pm]
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