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Pet adoption deserves attention, not clones

It is ironic that The Baltimore Sun published the article, “Puppy love reigns, thanks to these clones” (May 5), on the same day that BARCS Animal Shelter and Show Your Soft Side co-hosted “Pawject Runway” and the Maryland SPCA hosted a Festival for the Animals. While Baltimore’s two animal shelters were working to raise funds and adopt animals in their care, The Sun chose to feature a story — on the front page, no less — of a Bel Air woman who spent $50,000 to clone her Chihuahua. The Sun’s story, while curious, overlooked the current problem of animal homelessness in Maryland.

From December 2013 to December 2017, BARCS took in 44,249 homeless cats and dogs (plus hundreds of exotic animals), while the Maryland SPCA took in 9,725. On average, BARCS receives — and must find homes for — more than 30 animals per day. The work is unrelenting and demands enormous resources of labor and veterinary care. The opportunity cost of cloning one dog is staggering, and countless lives could have been saved with this $50,000.

While The Sun got it wrong, other influential voices got it right. Former Ravens Torrey Smith and Ryan Jensen offered to pay the adoption fees for every animal at Pawject Runway, sending a strong message to the citizens of Baltimore and the NFL as a whole. And Gov. Larry Hogan urged Marylanders to adopt on his Facebook page, after cradling a homeless dog on the runway.

Good journalism informs, but great journalism inspires. Unfortunately, The Sun missed an opportunity to remind its readership of the importance of adoption, and instead, focused on one individual’s extravagant folly.

Caroline A. Griffin, Baltimore

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