Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 3, 2013

No-kill animal shelter not a pipe dream

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— I am sitting here 2,500 miles away absolutely devastated by the news that five dogs and numerous cats were put down at the Mercer County Animal Shelter recently. The shelter has been kill free since June 2012,  with numerous volunteers working to publicize the animals, host adoption fairs, solicit sponsorship money for adoption fees, help fund vet bills, and numerous other activities.

Why today? Why change the positive course in working toward a community where we protect the innocent lives of those abandoned at the shelter? If no kill has worked for eight months why must it stop? The volunteers did not give up — why should the County Commission?

No-kill shelters are not a pipe dream — they are feasible when a community bands together and says enough is Enough! How do we do it? We educate to spay and neuter, we ban puppy mills and “pet stores” and encourage adoption. We continue to volunteer and work to find homes for animals who are no longer wanted — together.  

Commissioners, you have been entrusted by the people of Mercer County to make decisions on behalf of your constituents. There is a large segment of this voting public that feels betrayed by your directive and lack of progression. Animal population control does not have to rely on euthanasia. There are communities throughout this country boasting 90 percent and higher save rates in their shelters — much of the work being brought about by volunteers which we currently have.

By working with people, implementing lifesaving programs, and treating each life as precious, a shelter can transform a community just as this community must transform our shelter!

Lisa Underwood

South Lake Tahoe, Calif./Bluefield