Housing woes are hurting pets, too
Extremely sad to say, but cats and dogs are paying a heavy price due to their caretakers' foreclosures and mortgage broker greed. The shelters, rescues, etc., are being besieged with tearful good-byes as people relinquish their animals, perhaps never to see them again.
There weren't enough homes for all the animals brought to shelters before, and now with this influx what is going to happen? I think we all know.
Now is the time for apartment landlords to open their hearts and set some guidelines to allow former homeowners, now renters, to bring their animals with them. Some rentals have allowed animals for some time now. Why not follow their lead? A large dog is no different than a small dog, though they tend to be quieter and less spunky. Size should not matter. If the renter does not follow the rules, then the landlord has a cause for animal eviction.
In this time of great anguish and anxiety due to the war, loss of jobs, loss of homes and escalating gas prices, wouldn't it warm our hearts if the landlords stepped up to the plate and alleviated some of that anguish and anxiety?
Re: Popular teacher forced to retire | story, March 23
Keep teacher at East Lake High
In the past several weeks I have been in regular contact with fellow East Lake High School alumni about the injustices being invoked upon the current and future student body. After reading your March 23 story, I decided to make my thoughts known regarding a teacher for whom I have the utmost respect.
I am a freshman journalism student at Northwestern University and in all my years of formal education, I have never encountered a more knowledgeable, passionate and charismatic teacher than Bob O'Donnell. I grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., and attended a prestigious private school as well as City Honors (which was rated a top five high school nationally). I also spent one year locally at Tampa's Berkeley Preparatory School. At each of these academic establishments, I found various qualified and talented teachers. However, the gifts of Mr. O'Donnell make him absolutely unique.
I took Advanced Placement European History with Mr. O'Donnell in my sophomore year. I was the only nonsenior in the class but Mr. O'Donnell granted me the opportunity to enroll and he expected excellence out of me. Listening to his lectures was truly enlightening. He is one of the most humorous, intellectual and amiable human beings I have ever encountered. Pinellas school superintendent Clayton Wilcox's decision to force him out of work is a crime. In a school system hard pressed for talented teachers, Mr. O'Donnell is the cream of the crop.
I fully understand that this decision is financially motivated. However, Mr. Wilcox would be setting a terrible precedent by dismissing a man like Mr. O'Donnell just to save the school system a few bucks. It is the duty of Mr. Wilcox to ensure that students in Pinellas County are receiving the best education possible.
I am proud of the East Lake community for voicing its displeasure and standing up for what is right. Mr. O'Donnell has given his life to the local education system and now that very same system is turning its back upon an icon. There is something terribly wrong with this circumstance. Regardless of the fiscal implications, something needs to be done to keep Mr. O'Donnell at East Lake High School. If Bob O'Donnell retired in 15 years, it would still be too soon.
Max Gershberg, Palm Harbor
Thanks for help with Mutt March
On behalf of the Suncoast Animal League, I would like to thank the community for its support of our second annual Mutt March held March 22. The volunteers, sponsors, pet walkers and runners made this a successful day, and we appreciate each person's participation.
The importance of this event was to help defray the costs acquired after we rescued two very sick mother dogs and their litters from a local shelter. After several surgeries, blood transfusions, heartworm treatment and other procedures, we were able to nurse the dogs back to health and place them up for adoption.
The cost of saving their lives added up to more than $3,000 worth of medical bills. To a larger animal shelter this unexpected expense can be substantial, but to a smaller shelter, it can be devastating. We are proud to have saved the lives of these precious pups and their mothers, and we thank those who helped us recoup some of the cost by supporting Mutt March 2008. As I have said in the past, thank you for being there.
Rick Chaboudy, Suncoast Animal League, Palm Harbor