To the Editor:
Recently, the Clay County Humane Society has been in the news quite frequently, not all of it positive.
There seems to be a lot of misinformation going around about who we are and what we do. As current vice president, I would like to address some of these questions.
We are a nonprofit group of citizens with a five-member board of directors who pool our time, talent and resources to see that animals are treated in a humane and just manner. We do this by sponsoring the Clay Humane and Rescue Center, located just off White Rock Road.
We earn money by applying for grants, holding fundraising events, shot clinics, low cost spay/neuter clinics and contracting with the city and county to shelter lost, neglected, abused and abandoned animals in our city and county.
While we often pick up stray or abandoned animals in the city and county, we are not dogcatchers.
Last year, more than 1,000 animals came through our doors.
Of these, we were able to place 800 in rescue centers in other states that have stricter ordinances regarding animal control and overpopulation.
Another 300 were adopted out locally and additionally some returned to their owners.
One female cat has an average of three litters each year with each litter consisting of four to six kittens. Over seven years, these kittens can produce 400,000.
One female dog and her offspring over a six-year span can produce hundreds of puppies. These stray and abandoned animals create several health issues, creating health problems for our own pets. Often it is our children who are bitten or scratched, needlessly exposing them to infection and more serious complications.
Clay County does not have ordinances in place to address any animal issues at this time. The Clay County Humane Society is working to correct this by proposing ordinances that will address animal overpopulation, mandatory spay/neuter laws, fines for abuse and neglect and various other beneficial measures that will help make our community a cleaner, safer environment for everyone. These proposed ordinances have worked very well in other communities in helping to reduce animal neglect and overpopulation.
Mandatory spay/neuter laws can be controversial. Knowing that some animal owners that wish to breed their pet or use them to hunt will oppose mandatory spay/neuter laws, we have tried to address this by excluding animals used for this purpose.
Clay County Humane Society cannot do this without the help of our fellow citizens. Therefore, I am encouraging each and every person to become involved today. Have your animal spayed or neutered. Every Friday we offer a spay/neuter clinic that is open to the public at a substantially reduced fee. Join our group. We meet on the second Monday of each month.
Membership is a nominal fee of $10 per year and that too goes to the animals. Invest your time, talent or resources to help out a worthy cause. Many of you may say you are too busy. OK, there are many others you can help. Recycle your old newspaper to line kennel beds for the puppies and kittens. Donate cleaning supplies, donate aluminum cans, attend our fundraisers. There are many ways one can help. Call 446-5126.
I am encouraging everyone to support Clay County Humane Society and applaud the excellent work they do to help with all animal issues whether it is your neighbor's cow down in the mud or a stray animal. They are there trying to help our community be a better community.
Pick up your phone, call your local councilman, and ask them to support our efforts by passing local animal ordinances.
As vice president of our local Clay County Humane Society, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this and getting to know us a little better.