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From the one who helped your pet...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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.

Jeanne McGrew's eighth-grade homeroom made posters. Extended Enrichment Program students hung them up in the halls, counted money and made posters for the lobby charting donation totals. Volunteers from Gary Gysbert's seventh-grade homeroom helped cut and count purple ribbons and wallet-sized cards containing important phone numbers that victims could utilize; returned the daily collection envelopes to the office, and collected money from staff members. Becky Tregoning's seventh-grade writing lab students wrote and mailed persuasive business letters asking for donations. Also, seventh- and eighth-grade students helped with two weeks' worth of morning announcements with statistics about domestic violence and where to go and how to get help.

Our "village" of local businesses in New Windsor and Union Bridge also helped to make our campaign a success.

We received donations from the Union Bridge Church of the Brethren, Ladies Aid organization; The New Windsor Carry-Out; The New Windsor Inn; Bear Necessities convenience store; New Windsor 7-Eleven; and Myers IGA in Union Bridge. Checks were also received from local citizens in response to the persuasive business letters which Ms. Tregoning's students composed.

At the assembly, we were joined by Sheriff Ken Tregoning, State's Attorney Jerry Barnes and Domestic Violence Investigator Gary Cofflin. I want to thank Mr. Cofflin for the honor he bestowed on me at the assembly. I was humbled to receive a pin like the one he wears, making me an honorary domestic violence investigator. Thank you for encouraging and motivating me to continue my goal of increasing awareness of domestic violence in Carroll County and of trying to raise at least $1,000 in each school where I coordinate a purple ribbon campaign.

It is a good thing in the midst of our busy holiday season that a school of caring, concerned students and adults can realize the importance of helping those who may not have such a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanza. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And Santa's elves and elfettes are alive and well and working for peace on earth and goodwill to all, right here in New Windsor.

Catherine Clagette Berry, New Windsor

Rep. Bartlett's stand much appreciated

My husband and I thank Rep. Roscoe Bartlett for his stand on behalf of the Constitution and the rule of law. Our nation cannot survive if some people are considered immune from the law just because of a good economy, which really is not within the realm of the office of president.

The law, which President Bill Clinton twice swore to uphold and obey, must not be perverted by allowing one man to circumvent it. The constitutional republic which our forefathers so diligently fashioned and prayed we could keep is too precious to forsake for some real or imagined "will of the people." Indeed if our forefathers had considered the "economy," the "polls," the "special" interests, we would still be ruled by the Crown.

Any member who votes against impeachment because he or she is afraid of facing negative political repercussions should ponder the following question: What differentiates my position from William Jefferson Clinton's core value "to do whatever it takes to maintain my political viability within the system"?

Sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial showed the world that we are indeed that shining city on a hill, where justice and liberty for all is not just spin.

Helga Rottachm, Westminster

Pub Date: 1/03/99

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