From the one who helped your pet at the shelterTo...


January 03, 1999

From the one who helped your pet at the shelter

To anonymous pet owner: We got your beloved pet five days ago.

You know, the one you forgot to put a collar on. The one you didn't bother to put an ID tag on. The one you didn't bother to license. The one you didn't bother to keep home. The one you didn't bother to call about to see if it was here. The one you didn't think your neighbors minded running through their yard.

Well, they did.

My question: Why didn't you bother? I am the kennel manager at the Carroll County Humane Society. I am the one who cuddled and calmed your pet when it shook with fear, being in a strange place for the first time. I am the one who cleaned your pet's kennel every day during its stay with us. I am the one who for the last 5 days sat in your pet's cage helping it adjust to new surroundings. I am the one who cared for your pet when it became ill. I am the one who played with your pet and, yes, I am the one who walked your pet back to the euthanasia room.

I held your pet. It looked at me with trusting eyes as it had for the 5 days. It cuddled against me the same way it had for 5 days, and when it was all over I was left with only a lifeless body. A beautiful little face with a cold, blank stare in its eyes.

I cried hard. I cried because you didn't care enough to call to see if your pet was here. I cried because there are just too many unwanted pets. I cried because you didn't care enough to spay or neuter. I cried because your pet was too skittish to adopt. I cried because I loved your pet and it showed me love in return. I cried because I couldn't afford to take another pet home. I cried because I couldn't pet it, play with it or hold it again.

Most of all, I cried because you, the pet owner, were just too irresponsible. Why?

Donna Cole, Westminster

The writer is kennel manager of the Carroll County Humane Society.

Small fish protectors might just be sincere

I take issue with Liz Atwood's characterization of opponents to development as mere opportunists when they call attention to the plight of native trout populations also threatened by the same development ("Small fish fuel big debate," Dec. 28).

Perhaps these opponents actually care less about their marred views and more about the many interconnected ways that life on their particular part of the planet will be permanently harmed.

The news that Loyola College's proposed retreat will harm trout living in a pristine location in northern Baltimore County should come as no surprise. It simply provides yet another good reason why Loyola should choose another location.

Sharon D. Bailey, Hampstead

New Windsor's generous gift

Perhaps the rest of the world does not know what a wonderful thing happened at New Windsor Middle School the past several weeks.

In the midst of the hectic, school concert-filled, mall-packed holiday season, 500 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, plus their teachers, office staff, guidance department, administrators, secretarial, custodial and cafeteria staffs, jointly and generously collected $1,373.

At an assembly, they gave that money to Shelley Yingling, who represents the Domestic Violence Program of Central Maryland, part of the Family and Childrens Services of Central Maryland. This was the culmination of a two-week fund drive for a Domestic Violence Awareness Purple Ribbon Campaign.

As coordinator of the campaign, I watched and experienced many amazing and touching things at New Windsor Middle.

Jim Clarius' sixth-grade homeroom worked tirelessly to earn a pizza-party incentive with the largest amount of money collected by one homeroom, $256. Sarah Thompson's seventh-grade homeroom earned second-place with a total of $250. Kristin Faust's sixth-grade homeroom earned free ice cream passes by having everyone donate at least $1 before any other homeroom.

A number of students gave time and energy above and beyond the call of duty.

Katelyn Kelleher, seventh grade, donated a coffee can filled with 1,000 pennies which took her two years to collect. She also canvassed her neighborhood one evening and collected approximately $40. Melanie Henning, sixth grade, asked for donations at an Advent activity at her church, the Westminster Church of the Brethren, and returned with approximately $25 to donate toward her homeroom collection.

First lady Hillary Clinton's theory that "it takes a village" readily applies to the willingness and eagerness of so many New Windsor Middle School students to get involved.

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