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Web posted March 3, 2005 Shawnee News-Star
To the Editor:

Shawnee should add animal no-kill policy

There has been a lot of interest expressed about my letter to the editor Feb. 17, so I would like to add the following information for your readers.

Since 1994, Randy Newton has been supervising the Shawnee Animal Control program. He and his staff do a terrific job in animal welfare activities, considering the limited resources with which they have to work.

At last count, Randy and his staff have issued 827 certificates worth $50 each toward spaying or neutering cats or dogs. How does one obtain the certificate?

1) Live in Shawnee city limits.

2) Have a license for the animal, available at the Animal Control Shelter. This license requires proof of a rabies vaccination from a licensed vet. The license costs $10 so the pet owner saves $40 toward the spaying or neutering, which is about half the cost. The certificates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, only about 10 per month are issued because of city budget limitations. This budget amount must be increased. The need is great and it saves money in the long run.

In the past 15 years, 40,808 dogs and cats have been placed in the shelter. There is only about a 10 percent adoption rate, so a lot of animals are put to death. It is estimated that 1,600 are put down each year by gassing. That is why spaying and neutering is so important!

We should stop the killing or at least the gassing of innocent animals. Injections are much more humane than gassing. Surely Shawnee citizens can do better than this.

Contact your city commissioners and seek a budget increase for the animal control shelter. The number on staff must be increased and additional resources made available. The number of staff members has actually been reduced in recent years. Educational programs and picking up stray animals have therefore been cut. Shawnee needs to establish a foundation where caring citizens may make tax deductible contributions for the benefit of our abandoned pets and to provide spaying and neutering for those pets belonging to people in need of financial assistance, and move toward a no-kill policy and program in Shawnee.

Wes Beck