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Letters to the Editor

Get the Chip

I have a story to tell, but first I want to thank you for your honest and explicit article about the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley ["Dog Fight" by David Madison, Vol. 9, No. 27]. I wouldn't have guessed I would be visiting there a few weeks after reading it.

My story begins on Monday afternoon. My daughter and I were shopping and cleaning in preparation for out-of-town guests to arrive the next day. At around the same time, a neighbor of ours called Knox County Animal Control to pick up our cat Angel from her basement.

On Tuesday, our guest arrived at 1 p.m. We had a fun day catching up, went to the pool, and had dinner. Angel is now on her second day at the shelter.

By Wednesday, as I worked in my home office I began to wonder where Angel was and I watched the window for her. But, I'm off at noon to meet up with my friend and gone all day. This is Angel's third day. That night I asked my husband about getting out flyers. He thinks she will return, she has been gone this long before.

Thursday, I asked a neighbor if she has seen Angel and she had not. I made the flyers to distribute in the afternoon but this is Angel's fourth day. It is too late. She had been euthanized to make room for new animals and their three-day window of opportunity.

Friday, I started to receive calls. One neighbor tells me about seeing animal control earlier in the week. I can't believe it. I arrived at the shelter as soon as they opened. She was not there. They asked about identification and I admitted she was not wearing a collar. I drove to both Adopt-A-Pet centers. She was not there either. I realize I have to confront the neighbor that called animal control to know for sure. A solid white cat in a neighborhood of blacks and tabbies won't be hard to miss.

"Yes, she was solid white. I didn't know she was your cat!" (Yeah, right. This solid white cat has only lived next-door to you for six years! It was hard to buy that.) She tells me she called on Wednesday so I still think there is some mistake. Back to the shelter with a picture this time, but I won't need it. They let me look through their records which show a Monday pick-up. The ID number is retrieved and confirms she has been euthanized. I think back to my concerns Wednesday and Thursday. It wouldn't have been too late then.

Today I'm taking my cat Charlotte and my dog Ranger to receive a computer chip under the skin. This chip could have identified Angel and saved her. I am also sending a check to the Humane Society, a check to be put towards a building fund. With more kennels, they may be able to extend the stay for animals which could save lives. We all need to support the Humane Society for the terrible job they have to do.

My hope is others will get the chip. Outdoor cats are particularly vulnerable because they often won't wear collars and we tend not to worry when they are missing "only a few days."

Bett McLean

100 Percent Genuine

I am writing this letter concerning the article you wrote called "Animal Behavior." I had mixed emotions after reading it. I feel that it was well written and basically stuck to the facts and did a good job of showing how extremely important it is to have your pets spayed and neutered and to adopt from the shelter.

However, it was so negative and seemed to paint a picture of a bunch of half-crazed people fighting like cats and dogs.

I am a member of the Knox County Humane Association and I know that our intentions are 100 percent genuine and that every person that is involved with our organization has been an animal lover all their life. We have all united together to try to improve the welfare of homeless animals in Knoxville and to try to eliminate the problem of too many pets and not enough loving homes. The problem has reached epidemic proportions and the general public has got to do its part by having its pets spayed or neutered.

There are hundreds of no-kill shelters popping up all over America and they are all extremely successful and they are proof that it can be done. Hopefully we can change a lot of the old ways of thinking when it comes to animals and never have to senselessly put healthy animals to sleep before their time again.

Larissa Mikels