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“The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Once again it seems that our county officials are jumping the gun in attempting to locate the Western Slope Animal Shelter in the midst of an already existing small business and residential area. Over 100 sites were considered, and this is the decision? The inclusion of providing areas for livestock and other large animals introduces a variety of potential hazards requiring deeper thinking into the consequences. Insect control, rodent control, predator control, additional security and lighting, dust control, waste control and water run-off are some of those items needing consideration. If you take the time read the Negative Declaration to Draft Environmental Report, I am convinced that you too will find it to be genuinely lacking of fact, mitigation of impact and extremely vague in all aspects. It smacks of convenience over consideration.
I am fearful that the discussion will be couched in the parameters of the noble, animal-loving, caring folks — the “good guys,” versus the cold-hearted, animal-hating, evil folks — the “bad guys.” Of course this is way too simplistic and does not accurately reflect the concerns of those opposed to the animal shelter being located in the middle of a small business and residential area. It will also serve to demonize those who sincerely believe there are better locations to site the facility and will be used by pro-location officials to ease their responsibility to work to find a better and more appropriate site.
I personally love and have always had pets. I have rescued animals from shelters, but more commonly have rescued them from the streets, or before they ended up on the streets — before they found themselves in the hands of animal control. So, I will not listen to any argument regarding my lack of concern for animals. It is just not true.
In this age of overreaching and continual disregard for the citizens at all levels of government, where public service no longer means serving the public for the common good but rather imposing itself upon the citizens, isn’t it about time that we all starting working together for the good of all? It seems we have forgotten our sense of community and common goals. Of course we all want to provide for the safety and welfare of our beloved pets and other animals, but we don’t need to accept that goal if it means deleterious effects on the safety, security and quality of life for our residents and small businesses.
Let’s all agree that this location is not in the best interest of anyone involved and start to work towards a site that will both cover the needs of the animals, the animal control staff and volunteers, our small businesses, residents and, lastly, our government.
JOHN D. STAHLEY