Shelter's new director deserves the support of animal 0...

Letters to the Editor

August 08, 1998

Shelter's new director deserves the support of animal 0) protectors

After reading the balanced and well-researched July 21 article by Gerald Shields on the Baltimore City Animal Shelter's new director, Bob Anderson, I was disappointed to read "Animal activists criticize agency" (Aug. 3) by Mr. Shields.

Mr. Shields is apparently operating under the mistaken assumption that animal rights organizations such as the Maryland Animal Protection Coalition and Citizens for Animals represent or characterize the views of other animal protection organizations in the city. They do not.

The William Snyder Foundation for Animals strongly supports Mr. Anderson's appointment as the shelter's director. We base that support on his record of achievement at the Tri-County Animal Shelter, where during his first year as shelter manager, he increased the adoption rate from 7 percent to more than 37 percent.

Moreover, we know Mr. Anderson to be someone who genuinely cares about animals and their welfare and who has worked to ameliorate conditions of life for the animals in his charge.

Mr. Anderson is well aware of the problems that have chronically plagued shelter operations and is taking systematic action to improve conditions there. One of his first actions as the new director was to apply to the Snyder Foundation for funds to buy animal-control training manuals for his officers. He has rightly identified better trained and more knowledgeable personnel as a key to improving shelter response.

The city shelter now has a director who not only cares about

animals but also is a leader with a substantive, concrete plan to improve shelter operations.

Lora Junkin


The writer is executive director of the William Snyder Foundation for Animals.

I live in what some people call the "other Baltimore," about eight blocks to the north of Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor in real Baltimore.

On July 18, I was alone on the street at 1: 30 p.m. for about 10 seconds when I was assaulted and robbed. A dirty, dusty man hit me on the head, stole my purse and hit me in the chest with such force that I was knocked backward like a rag doll from the sidewalk into an oncoming lane of traffic.

The man was not caught, but I was very lucky not to have been run over or seriously injured. My problem is that I have no way to thank all the people who came to my aid.

My screams brought friends, neighbors and strangers running to help. The first person to reach me was a gentleman driving a maroon car. He managed to stop and also block the oncoming traffic. He helped me sit up and stayed with me until others arrived.

A police officer arrived very quickly and took the information. Other officers went searching for the man, as did some of my neighbors. Paramedics Tony Parson and Robert Hamlin were very professional, as well as kind and consoling. The emergency room staff members at Maryland General Hospital were equally efficient.

I know the very difficult conditions under which the Baltimore Police Department and paramedics work, and these people are to be commended for an excellent job.

It is comforting to know that so many good people are in the "other Baltimore."

Ann L. McKenzie


Disabled access harms warship's authenticity

The prospect of wheelchair lifts on the USS Constellation ("A Civil War-era ship sails into a modern dispute," July 22) is so patently absurd that in any era before political correctness it would have been laughed out of existence.

I am in favor of making reasonable accommodations for the handicapped, but the incessant drumbeat of "mainstreaming" is drowning out common sense. The man who wants this says he can't experience the Constellation in its full historic authenticity except by going there, yet he would propose destroying that very authenticity for his convenience.

I shudder to think if he ever wanted to visit Mount McKinley. Would he want the government to build a ramp for him or level it?

The lobby for the disabled, aided by the misapplication of the Americans with Disabilities Act, is in danger of going too far. How many of us have seen and resented wheelchair ramps that are never used, reserved spots that are always empty or have had to kneel down to write a note in a post office because all the writing surfaces are at wheelchair height?

Solutions to disabled problems that inconvenience the majority of the population are unfair and wrong; it is time for disabled accommodations that also accommodate the majority.

Michael D. Poliszuk

Lexington Park

Balto., D.C. won't be ready for the Olympics by 2012

Before we can hope to attract the Olympics, we need to do some major housekeeping or risk bad publicity that will dog us forever.

If Baltimore and Washington succeed in landing the 2012 Olympics, where will all the events be held? The region does not have venues for some of the sports.

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