From: Nina Meckel

Humane Educator

Humane Society of Harford County

Bel Air

The staff at the Humane Society was extremely sad to read the article by Mark Guidera, "The budget is leading folks to think weird thoughts," Harford CountySun, Sunday, March 10, regarding the $500,000 for a new facility, orbetter referred to as a "Dog and Cat Hotel."

The Humane Society does not want to take money away form the homeless, nor is the new facility "a dog and cat hotel." The truth of the matter is that this facility is not county operated, but we do receive a grant from the county to take in the county strays.

In recent years the number of abandoned, abused and homeless animals has been on the increase. This ispartially due to the extreme growth of the county. This facility is always filled to its capacity and many adoptable animals are having to be put to sleep because of the amount of strays in the county. Thisfacility can only hold so many animals. The staff here is small and puts in approximately 70 hours a week and is only paid for 40 hours.

We are not trying to make the homeless problem seem unimportant, but we see an additional problem in this county that is growing every day -- stray animals. This is the problem of the people of Harford County for it is their dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, ferrets, etc. that they no longer want.

A great deal of these animals are abused or starved. This facility is here to take care of them and try to find them a loving home. Our job is to clean up after people's mistakes. Just think about it, what would happen if we weren't here. How many animals would be laying on the side of roads, or starved to death, or even tortured? We provide a much needed service to this county and have never asked for anything from the county.

Until people realize that an animal is a responsibility and stop breeding their pets, there will always be too many animals and not enough homes.

This shelter is old and in need of work, but we still keep our doors open so animals will have a place to go. This is not a hotel, or a palace. This is an operation that struggles every day to keep its doorsopen. Mr. Guidera should stop by our facility and take a look at what we do on a day to day basis for his county. We can receive as many as 30 cats and kittens a day in here and as many as15 dogs.

Where does he think we can put all these animals? Is the answer to euthanize every animal that is lost, abandoned or abused? Is it acceptable for people to make a mistake and kill the animal? Or does this society believe in a second chance for these animals? We do! We feel these animals deserve a second chance. They did not ask to be born. The owners of these animals are the problem and they dump the problem on us tofix.

The plans for the new shelter have been scrapped and each day we wonder how many more adoptable animals are going to have to die because we do not have enough room at this shelter.

Mr. Guidera and Harford County citizens, please understand that we are not trying to take money away from other important needs, but there is also a need for the animals in this county because of you, the citizens of thiscounty.


From: Christine Lehr

Bel Air

First of all, I would like to say I really enjoyed the recycle article in the Feb. 24 edition, "Recycling: a cause whose time has come in the county," by Mark Guidera. He really spoke the truth when he said, "Everyone can do it (recycle), except for those who are lazy."

Recycling is something everyone should be doing. I cannot believe how many people won't even consider changing a few old habits to improve our planet. Don't all of these people realize how crucial it is nowto help preserve our land? Especially for all of our children and their future. It is up to all of us to start changing so our children and grandchildren can breathe clean, fresh air. Isn't that worth the small effort it takes to recycle?

Recycling is the most easiest andrewarding job I have ever done. I feel so good about myself every time I pull out of the recycling center. It makes me feel like I gave my two sons a great gift. My children are going to be brought up to think that there are and always have been four types of garbage.

I hope that by writing this letter, I can help to influence just a few people to recycle.

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