Letter hurtful

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2000

L’Observateur / August 26, 2000

DEAR EDITOR: We are writing in response to a letter written by Betty Everitt of the Riverlands SPCA. In her letter, she omitted several important facts,thereby casting doubt upon the hard work of the St. John Parish AnimalControl Advisory Board and the volunteers of the St. John Humane Society.These innuendoes are a disgraceful disservice to not only our community but to the homeless animals as well. This misinformation will only onceagain lead to a sense of complacency regarding conditions of the public animal sheltering program. The issue will undoubtedly become a mootsubject thereby increasing public health and safety risks by non-action of those solely responsible for the facility, our elected officials.

Ms. Everitt was in attendance at nearly every ACAB and parish councilmeeting where the members of all groups lobbied to have needed improvements done to the facility and programs, including removal of the junk trailers and replacing with a new donated trailer. The parish councilrepeatedly voted down the requests. Suddenly, some of these same councilmembers decided to go ahead and remove the junk and use tax dollars to purchase a new trailer. In April, the council also approved to dismiss thevolunteers of the Humane Society from the trailer. How did that improveanything? For nearly nine years, people have volunteered at the shelter and appealed to our elected officials to improve the animal control facility and Ms.

Everitt says, “Let’s give the parish a little more time”? Give us a break! Cosmetic improvements are nice but what are our officials doing to get to the root of the problems? Animal sheltering is not just puppies and kittens; it is also a very real health and safety issue regarding disease and vicious or nuisance animals.

As this parish grows, so does the stray and homeless animal population, thereby directly increasing public risk of injury, illness and property damage. Without a proper plan of action, citizens will needlessly pay theprice.

We cannot afford to take a sense of security with the way things are going as Ms. Everitt implies we should. As citizens of St. John Parish, we needto continue urging our elected officials to design an intelligent master business plan and take action on what the people of St. John Parish needand deserve.

Carol Flannigan & Margaret Landry St. John Parish Animal Control Board

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