To the editor: I cannot imagine a sadder image than the one in Saturday's paper of the caged dog waiting for someone who may never come to rescue him. Here is how we can curb euthanasia at animal shelters in the Los Angeles area: Abolish puppy mills and adopt stringent spay and neuter programs. Do away with dog breeders or curtail their activity. ("County grapples with overhaul of animal shelters," Feb. 7)
Sadly, even the most well-intentioned dog or cat owners sometimes give up their animals for adoption because of a move or a job relocation. Still, this is hard to comprehend, as animals travel very well. I adopted a shelter cat from Kauai who traveled alone in an airplane cargo compartment and arrived safely.
Listen up, people: Go to your shelter and check out some of these adorable animals who are looking for a good place to call home. It will be the best move you make.
Cecelia Kennelly-Waeschle, Beverly Hills
To the editor: It is always heartbreaking to hear of all the dogs and cats that end up in a shelter and are then euthanized. As The Times reported, nearly 70% of the cats that are admitted to L.A. County shelters and 30% of the dogs are killed.
One way to reduce these numbers is to allow more of us to give these dogs and cats homes. About half of L.A. residents are renters, and many landlords don't allow pets.
Why can't the law be changed to require landlords to allow pets if an additional, reasonable fee is paid? Perhaps some homes are too close quarters to allow dogs, but it seems wholly unreasonable that so many of us are forbidden from having even cats while so many are being killed.
Karen O'Keefe, West Hollywood
To the editor: The only thing that will ever make a dent in the killing machine is a spay, neuter and education program.
No one who works hand in hand with the Los Angeles shelter system would ever say that we are improving. I work in a disadvantaged area of Los Angeles, and on every block you see stray dogs, breeding in back yards, chained up pets and more.
The idea that we can ship our pet overpopulation problem away to other cities or states is the "out of sight, out of mind" brand of rescue that gives so many people that warm, fuzzy feeling of accomplishment. In fact, while some pets get lucky, many land with hoarders or kill shelters, and some are even found again as strays.
We cannot ship away our pet overpopulation problem; the only way to address it is to fund easy, free and incentive-based spay and neuter programs and door-to-door education.
Chela Landau, Los Angeles