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Your Opinion: Pet owner responds on shelter actions

Your Opinion: Pet owner responds on shelter actions

April 17th, 2013 by Linda Laucks, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

In response to the letters written by Fischer and Tergin regarding the Jefferson City Animal Shelter, I confirm my previous letter contained no incorrect information.

During a meeting held with two staff members, as well as documentation received, my pet was brought into the shelter on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and put into the CO2 chamber approximately an hour later. If the shelter employs a full-time licensed veterinarian paid by the city, the veterinarian should have been present at 3 p.m. to make such a determination. Instead, an Animal Control officer who had been told this was not a feral animal made it.

Regarding the statement of animals deemed terminally ill or vicious being humanely euthanized, the definition of euthanasia (from the Greek, meaning "good death") is the act of humanely putting an animal to death. When picking up my pet from the shelter, her claws were protruded and foam was coming from her mouth. I ask, "Does this represent a humane death?" I have had pets euthanized in the past and none have experienced such adverse conditions.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has changed its views on C02 in an article posted Feb. 26, 2013. The following is taken directly from the AVMA website: "In the 2013 Guidelines, euthanasia by intravenous injection of an approved euthanasia agent remains the preferred method for euthanasia of dogs, cats, and other small companion animals. Gas chambers are not recommended for routine euthanasia of cats and dogs in shelters and animal control operations. "

Rabid and wild animals such as opossums, raccoons, skunks, ground hogs, etc., do not fall into this category.

Typically a trapped animal's defense mechanism is to retaliate to save its life. Again as I was informed, the Jefferson City Animal Shelter does not contain a holding area to release such animals until they can calm themselves. Therefore, holding a pet until the owner has the ability to claim it is not an option.

It is unclear how many pets have been disposed of in the shelter's CO2 chamber. The trap, neuter and return program for feral cats uses a trap divider to contain the animal while receiving an injected sedative. This would provide an alternative for the owner to claim it before it experiences inhumane demise.

Definition of shelter (noun) a refuge, safe haven or harbor. An establishment supported by charitable contributions that provides a temporary home for dogs, cats, and other animals who are offered for adoption. I question if the residents of Jefferson City are truly supporting an animal shelter.