Fri, May 03, 2013 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Change Hsinchu stray policy

I wish to state that the Hsinchu City Government’s new policy of requiring garbage collectors to take stray dogs to the pound, where they are ultimately killed, is not only abhorrent, but inhumane and ethically wrong. Animals are not garbage.

I have lived here for more than seven years, and I am shocked about the treatment of animals. The fact that so many people buy animals because they are considered cute when they are young (imagine doing this to one’s child) and then abandoning them when they become big, or because they become inconvenient — this fact is completely at odds with any notion I have ever had of kindness and caring.

Please revoke this new policy. I suggest applying tax credits for people who adopt, neuter and properly care for strays. Have them get certificates from veterinarians who care for such adopted strays, and apply such proof to tax credits. Vets should be certified to do this, and by this, I mean vets who have been in business a long time and have a good reputation among pet owners.

In the meantime, consider the money that you would have spent or were planning on spending on the time that would take garbage collectors to “do something about” stray animals and the actual money that would be spent on killing animals in the “shelters.” Use the money instead on helping the animals find homes.

In addition, a lot of normal, well-meaning people, are pet owners who don’t care for animals the way they should. I am a cat owner, and as such, I am aware that usually, cats are better cared for, when they are cared for. However, I still have seen very sad looking strays who are suffering in the way that human beings suffer if their families have first given them care, but then kicked them out on the street. Imagine if that was done to a kindergarten student.

Large dogs are kept in cages all day by “well-meaning” people. They have no separate place to walk or to defecate or urinate. How can people have pets and just leave them in cages day after day. What is the purpose of such a life?

A plan for gradually educating people about these problems must be adopted. However, this should not be done with just government money, because of the prohibitive costs involved. Get corporate sponsorship involved and take an aggressive approach to changing the awareness about pets, animals and their importance to us.

Consider, for example, what Cesar Millan [The Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic channel] has done for dogs. Even the supposedly dangerous pitbulls that were trained for dogfighting by abhorrent Michael Vick types can be rehabilitated.

Changing attitudes is possible. But if you kill things that never hurt you just because you deem them a nuisance, then you have destroyed your humanity. Essentially, you become sociopathic.

Revoke the policy telling garbage collectors to take street dogs to the “shelters” because it is wrong.

Thoth Harris

Hsinchu City

Human rights violated

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Ray Burghardt, was reported to have said that “he did not buy the scenario” that the human rights situation or democracy within Taiwan had eroded over the last few years (“US has never interfered in Taiwan-China talks,” April 25, page 3). I wish the reporter, William Lowther, had pressed further to get exactly what “scenario” Burghardt was referring to?

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