Animal neglect is a serious problem

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Ecclesiastes 3:19 : “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity...” Letters to the Optic regarding the subject of abortion have appeared with frequency over the past few months.

Taking on the management of a large and severely malnourished and neglected colony of abandoned cats located in Las Vegas has influenced my own views on this local debate. Any discussion of abortion is meaningless as long as the residents of this county do not take to heart what the Bible says about animal welfare.

As the war of words ensues in print, countless animals in the area are abused, abandoned, neglected and treated like inconvenient vermin or slave labor. This is a community problem, and the responsibility belongs to all of us. So far, however, only a small percentage of the population is taking responsibility for improving the quality of life for the animals here. These people are investing time, energy and their own money to make up for the blatant irresponsibility of others.

The shelter is packed to the rafters with animals needing responsible, permanent, caring homes, there are colonies of animals left to fend for themselves all over the county, yet there are people here who know this and continue to irresponsibly breed more and more animals, either for dubious income or for their own temporary and selfish entertainment.

Unless attitudes change fast, I see no end in sight for animal neglect and abuse in this area. If people will not change their destructive ways I would like to at least see some kind of substantial tax increase to cover the increasing needs of the animal shelter and the management of the many street animals being undertaken by concerned but overwhelmed animal welfare advocates. Something more has to be done as the animal neglect problem in San Miguel County must not continue as it is. Looking around with honesty, we must admit that most people in San Miguel County clearly can afford to pay a fair share toward addressing the situation.

Kim Reed-Deemer
Las Vegas