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Humane Society needs our support

Re: Shelter's actions faulted | story, April 1

Humane Society needs our support

I have been involved with animal rescue for 12-plus years and have volunteered for the Humane Society of Pinellas for 7-plus years. I am dedicated to the goal of no more homeless animals and rehabilitating dogs with behavioral issues, as is the Humane Society. As such, I am extremely sensitive to the subject of euthanasia.

The Humane Society of Pinellas has served our community for over 60 years. They did, in fact, have to humanely euthanize some animals with medical and behavioral issues last fall. It was unfortunate and I'm sure the decision was a difficult one for them.

The reality is that every shelter across our nation is faced with these difficult decisions when responsible for animals that are sick or may represent a danger to the public.

Too many people dump their pets at shelters if they become sick or inconvenient. Unfortunately, space and funds are limited to care for these animals. If more individuals would responsibly spay/neuter their own animals, step forward and volunteer in the shelters, home foster or actually adopt a shelter animal, these decisions would be unnecessary.

Throughout the country, especially in the South, many companion animals run free and are not spay/neutered. They multiply by the thousands every year, resulting in overpopulation.

These dogs and cats wind up in small rural shelters with five to 15 runs and multiple dogs in a kennel. They are euthanized (sometimes gassed or even shot) for space and most of the animals rarely have a second chance. These are dogs and cats who are sweet, very adoptable and have done nothing wrong and are losing their lives every day — many are just puppies/kittens.

The Humane Society of Pinellas is giving these unfortunate animals a second chance to find homes in our heavily populated metropolitan area. As an animal lover, I would think that each of your readers would applaud this program.

The Humane Society of Pinellas has served our community by giving adoptable animals a second chance for a loving home. They are limited admissions, meaning they accept "adoptable" animals only. This differs from a sanctuary for animals who have little chance of finding a permanent home. Sanctuaries fill up quickly and keep their animals until they die. Once a sanctuary is full, they rarely accept any more animals.

While sanctuaries and the people who run them are angels in our rescue world and we certainly need more of them, the Humane Society of Pinellas is not a sanctuary. If they were to become a sanctuary, they would be unable to save as many animals as they do.

I encourage your readers to volunteer, contribute and adopt from the Humane Society of Pinellas.

Joyce Tabeling, Safety Harbor

Re: Shelter's actions faulted | story, April 1

Don't turn the older pets away

It saddens me that if someone wants to turn in a senior pet to the Humane Society of Pinellas, they may be turned away. Senior pets need homes, too. Not everyone wants a puppy or kitten.

Basicially, if you have a policy, be honest. If your policy states that you "treat the treatable and train the trainable," then that is what you need to do.

If someone from the public gives a donation because of that mission statement and that is not what is taking place, then they are being misled.

In my opinion, there are plenty of highly adoptable animals in Pinellas County rather than taking animals from out of state and putting the community's animals at risk for catching parvo, etc.

To my understanding, they want to help the community. Turning away people's pets because they are not perfect is not helping the community. Taking in highly adoptable pets helps with finances? Whatever happened to fundraising? Shelters are not supposed to have perfect pets — that's why they are shelters. If you want a perfect pet, go to a pet store or breeder.

Lillian Pottberg, Clearwater

Re: Shelter's actions faulted | story, April 1

To help, offer your time and money

Animals are not born with bad behavior. They learn it from negligent owners. Animals are tied up in the back yard and never get proper training or socializing due to the owners' fault.

The Humane Society of Pinellas' former administration accepted aggressive dogs that could not be kept by their owners. Owners passed the problem off to the HSP to find another home.

The canine employees and volunteers are trained in the "Open Paw Program." This program teaches care, guidance and positive treatment of all the dogs. The employees and volunteers work very hard with these aggressive dogs. There are still more than 30 dogs that need help. The employees and volunteers are not animal trainers. The new administration made decisions in the most needed and humane manner.

The strong, dedicated and trained volunteers who leave are negligent and neglectful. The economy has not been kind to the animal owners and nonprofit organizations. All shelters do the best they can and rely on volunteers to help and when they leave the animals suffer.

Recognize Kara, Turbo, Ruth, Bruce, Annabelle, Girl, Lester, Cora, Honey, Baby Girl and many other dogs who found forever homes after living at the HSP from six months to two years. HSP has a low-cost clinic and food pantry to help animals.

If you want to help, come and give your time and money. Do not sit in judgment! I have been there throughout six summers. Keep moving forward with help.

Tillie Smith, Safety Harbor

Re: A grand bid for grandeur | story, April 3

Do homework on Biltmore buyer

A firm that is known for its renovations of historic properties in Florida wants to purchase the Belleview Biltmore and its out-parcel properties. This sounds too familiar.

The city of Belleair needs to look closely at an adjoining city to the north which was invaded in December of 1975 and is still occupied by the invading forces. Doesn't it seem funny that one of the partners is or was affiliated with the Scientology-linked World Literacy Crusade, but he doesn't know how he was placed on the group's rolls?

Belleair needs to do its homework on this one.

J. J. TenBieg, Clearwater

Re: A great dog, a changed life | Bill Stevens column, March 25

One story has touched so many

Please allow us to take a moment to thank you with all of our heart for running the compassionate article that Bill Stevens wrote about our dear Lucy. It was truly one of the kindest and most generous things that anyone has ever done for us. It has touched us deeply and has made an indelible mark on our lives.

The community's response and outpouring of support toward myself and Pam has been overwhelmingly benevolent. This perfectly exemplifies the powerful effect that can be had with a pen in the skilled hands of a craftsman. Bill Stevens' words have moved this community and motivated in them their gift of compassion toward others. Thank you.

May you continue to thrive in your profession, and know that you have blessed not only Pam and I, but the entire community with the altruistic approach the Tampa Bay Times has toward journalism.

Thomas B. Dobies, Holiday

Killer's portrayal was too positive

I read with great sadness and dismay your coverage of the murder of a friend — a woman who was loved by many, a mother to two sons, a sister, a daughter — by her husband. You portrayed this man, her husband whom she was divorcing, who brutally murdered her and then killed himself, as some sort of cool dude who hung out at the beach and made jewelry. Shame on you.

Lori Siegel, Clearwater

Re: Resident, business can't break a sound barrier | story, March 31

Businesses here respect residents

I just finished reading the article about the noise complaint directed at the Island Outpost Restaurant on the Dunedin Causeway. I am surprised and saddened to hear of the trouble this man Bill is causing the business, since this place closes down early every night. Goodness, it is not a nightclub.

I shudder to think of this man being my neighbor. If I chose to play music till 10 every evening, I guess I would have the police called on me too.

I feel the businesses in the area respect the residents, but it is a tourist area. I am delighted with the popularity of the Dunedin Causeway. I have lived one block over for three years now and hear nothing. I love that they are doing so well there.

Michele Regan, Dunedin

Re: Learning police work on the beat | story, April 1

Americorps is a great opportunity

I read with interest your article on Americorps. It certainly encompasses more than cleaning parks and trails, educating the public on safety and crime prevention and speaking at schools.

I have a daughter who is in her second year of service to Americorps. She is a volunteer coordinator and GED tutor in a housing project in Chicago. Her job is much more than a volunteer position. She works a full 40-hour week, and then some, year-round for a small stipend and a small educational allowance for graduate school.

She is very happy helping others less fortunate than herself and we have a world of admiration for her and all Americorps employees. College graduates who cannot find jobs in today's current economic climate would do well to investigate Americorps. It also looks great on a job application.

Regina Bradley, Belleair

>>Your voice counts

You may submit a letter to the editor for possible publication through our website at, or by faxing it to (727) 445-4119, or by mailing it to Letters, 710 Court, Clearwater, FL 33756. You must include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

Humane Society needs our support 04/07/12 [Last modified: Saturday, April 7, 2012 1:41pm]
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