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Thursday, July 1, 2010 10:51 pm

Letters to the Editor 7/1/10

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BREAK THE CHAIN

I am writing about an issue that has gone unaddressed for too long — that of the perpetually chained or penned, so-called “outside” or “backyard” dog. There is no sadder sight than these outcast, forlorn, forgotten animals, relegated to the status of lawn ornaments and virtually ignored by the family. Many chained or penned dogs are seriously neglected. They lack fresh, unfrozen water, adequate housing, hygiene and the most basic veterinary care, including vaccinations required by law. Every winter such dogs are found frozen to death. At other times of the year they may be left to starve until they die.

Chaining is not only inhumane for dogs, but has taken a severe toll on this nation’s children. In the period from October 2003 through September 2008, there were at least 231 children killed or seriously injured by chained dogs across the country. Chained dogs, unsocialized with humans, can become very territorial of their tiny space, and any 2-year-old who wanders into this space can be attacked and killed before adults can intervene. Furthermore, researchers are confirming the link between animal abuse and neglect and abuse and neglect of children and perpetration of future crimes. Austria is the latest nation to ban the chaining of dogs, completely prohibiting the practice. Connecticut is the first state in the nation to limit chaining, California and Texas have also set time limits on chaining. There are at least 100 communities or counties in at least 35 states with limits on chaining.

Our state or city needs to be a part of this growing movement to eliminate chaining of dogs. I urge all of you reading this to remedy this oversight which condemns dogs, the most loving and loyal of animals, to lives of loneliness and deprivation. I ask that you contact your local legislation to prohibit the perpetual chaining and penning of dogs. I visited Sen. Larry Bomke and Rep. Rich Brauer in their offices, and both were adamantly opposed to supporting any type of humane legislation. If enough people contact them, maybe we can change their minds. You can visit our website at www.dogsdeservebetter.org for more information.

Jan Mier
Chatham



NOOSE UNDER THE RUG

In spite of the basic violation of personal and human rights, the city of Springfield has persisted in attempting to make the so called “noose” incident go away [See “Where do we go from here?” by R.L. Nave, Aug. 20, 2009]. There are signs at various entry points to the city proper stating this city is against hate and will not allow it.  Evidently these statements are just more political rhetoric.

We now have a man being forced out of a job for a payout that covers three years of his salary. The perpetrators will continue working and perhaps laughing about their “little joke” while the city fathers attempt to sweep the incident under the rug.

This is another reason to change the folks who make decisions for this city. Not one of them has the guts to do what’s right. Would this be treated the same if the victim were white and the perpetrator were black? The mayor and his aides withheld information from the city council in order to close this issue. I appeal to the good people of Springfield to stop the leaders from again doing what’s in their best interest rather than ours. We already have a reputation that would surely make “Abe” rise up in anger, yet we persist in doing it wrong.

Michael Abrams
Springfield

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