Is SPCA a no-kill shelter? Not really | Aug. 14, story
Irresponsible pet owners deserve blame
I am a financial supporter of the SPCA Tampa Bay, and have been doing so with the full knowledge of their euthanasia policy. As far as I am aware, the SPCA has never claimed to be a no-kill shelter.
In truth, there probably is not such a thing as a no-kill shelter. Many no-kill shelters are really limited-admission shelters that only take in animals that have the highest likelihood of being adopted, or for whom they have space. In the process, these "no-kill" shelters will turn down animals less likely to be adopted. These are many of the animals that end up on the SPCA doorstep.
Shelters that euthanize (like the SPCA Tampa Bay) do so out of necessity. For every single animal euthanized in a shelter, there is a person outside of that shelter responsible for it.
I invite anyone who is ready to criticize a humane organization such as the SPCA to come and sit in the receiving area of an animal shelter, where, when I was a veterinary student, I have seen people surrender their animal because it did not match their carpet color or their new furniture. I have seen people turn in a perfectly healthy adult dog and turn right around to the adoption area to get a new puppy, just as easily as they would swap a book at the library.
Shelter workers do the dirty work for members of society, who continue to breed animals despite overpopulation, who surrender their animals because they are unwilling to take on the proper level of commitment, or who face unexpected changes in their lives, forcing them to part with their animal.
I sincerely hope that the St. Petersburg Times will spend the same time and energy to educate the public about the need to spay and neuter pets, about making a lifelong commitment to care for a pet, about closing puppy mills, or even about the compassion fatigue that comes with being a shelter worker.
May-li Cuypers, DVM, diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Largo
Is SPCA a no-kill shelter? Not really Aug. 14, story
This report has been a kick in the gut to my wife and me, who regularly donate money to various animal associations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. It is most depressing to find out that money we have given to what we were lead to believe were "no-kill" associations has been used not only to help animals but also to euthanize them on a regular basis.
Our dilemma now has become whether we continue to give knowing some animals will be saved as others are euthanized for many questionable reasons. Frankly, we both are of the opinion that we should withhold any future donations until those organizations that allude to being "no-kill" are shamed into issuing a policy of "no-kill" and change their corporate mantra to reflect this policy.
We as the human species are not and have not done a good job ensuring other creatures sharing this planet are treated as co-equals. Good luck in any additional articles on this subject.
Douglas Robb, Tampa
Is SPCA a no-kill shelter? Not really Aug. 14, story
Many animals are helped
Your article regarding the SPCA Tampa Bay didn't include information on how many animals are helped by them via the rescue ambulances that cover all of Pinellas County, the foster program that saves many injured, sick or very young animals, the excellent behavior programs to rehabilitate animals, the special needs animals (blind, deaf, amputees, etc.) that are adopted into loving homes, and the obedience classes to help animals remain in their homes.
I have proudly volunteered at the SPCA Tampa Bay for almost five years. The volunteers and staff care about the animals and do everything possible to act in the best interest of the animals.
Rather than criticize, be part of the solution: Adopt a homeless animal, make a lifetime commitment to your pets and spay or neuter them. Don't support puppy mills or kitten mills. Volunteer at your local shelter.
Valerie C. Brehm, St. Petersburg
Plug pulled on shuttle rides | Aug. 13, story
Moving the wrong way
Thank you, transportation officials, for ensuring the viability of the taxicab industry at the cost of progressiveness and options for downtown Tampa.
Here we have a unique "green" business that was providing a fantastic service for both tourists and residents and the best we can come up with is "get a permit, and by the way, there are none."
Instead of worrying about the taxicab industry, why aren't we worrying about making Tampa a more attractive place to live and visit while helping to protect the environment? There were so many more creative solutions, such as just allowing the electric carts to operate in downtown, Channelside and Ybor, or making a special class of permits for no-emission vehicles.
It is so disheartening to see how unprogressive this area is. In the newspaper the other day, there was a story about how Boston is expanding its bike-sharing program to 5,000 bikes, and the best we can do is shut down a downtown electric cart business.
I keep hoping things will change with the Public Transportation Commission, but I guess it is asking too much for a body that just can't break free of the mold.
Jim Hartnett, Tampa
For democracy, be civil
I am bothered by the rush to judgment and the wholesale degradation of democratic discourse by all parties. America evolved out of a time of monarchies and dictators. Look what our original forefathers created. In less than 225 years most monarchies are gone, equal rights for women, religious and ethnic minorities, though still poor, are relatively much improved.
America is great because of our open views. Let us not spoil what was gained through so much time, war and pain. The death of democracy can come by screaming down opponents and closing one's ears.
Please, regardless of which political side you are on, remember that civility is not a sign of weakness but rather the strength of individuals in our unique system. Collaboration and compromise from both sides will create a better America. Try to be less angry and more caring with the legacy we have been trusted with. Democracy is fragile; treat it with respect.
Chris Tonra, Odessa
In a dog flight to save puppies | Aug. 9, story
Good to read
A story like this is just one of the reasons the St. Petersburg Times is a great newspaper. That's all I have to say.
Judy Lawler, Kenneth City