Dog pound or no-kill shelter. I know it’s not politically correct to use terms like dog catcher or dog pound anymore. Today it’s animal control and Humane Society that are preferred. No matter what they are called, I have complete respect for folks willing to take on this responsibility.
As long as I can remember, I have had animals for companions. Horses, dogs, cats and other four-legged creatures shared my living space with me. Today my constant companion is a cat I affectionately call Alamo. Alamo rules my home and sort of lets me live here too.
Animal control is a public safety issue in my mind and I have no problem paying taxes to pay for it.
A no-kill shelter to me is a different thing. I know that the local shelter claims not to be a no-kill shelter on one hand, but will keep animals until they can find a home for them on the other hand ... to me that is a no-kill shelter.
People who want a shelter that will keep animals until they can be adopted and not put them down after 72 hours have a right to feel that way, as long as they are willing to pay the costs incurred in doing so. That cost should not be paid by the taxpayer who is not in favor of a no-kill shelter. That cost should be paid from donations from people who do want this kind of shelter, not from our taxes.
We have families with children living in cars because they lost their home, veterans who are homeless, senior citizens wondering how to get the medications that will keep them alive a little longer, a home right here in Payson that takes homeless and troubled veterans in who may lose that home, putting as many as 40 veterans on the street. Food banks with empty shelves and the list goes on and on. Pleas from our senior center often go unheard.
Before I can get excited about the plea about money for this shelter, I want to hear what we plan to do about the human suffering we often choose to ignore.
My hat is off to the folks at the Humane Society shelter in Payson ... I wish we had as strong an advocate for suffering humans as those who advocate for the animals in Rim Country.