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Check the Facts About Animal Shelter

August 07, 1994

* Not everyone is "thrilled" with Mission Viejo's animal services ("Political Dogfight Expected Over City Animal Shelter," July 25). Certainly not the 100-plus dogs murdered (euthanized) last year by this "humane" shelter. The number of animals that they kill this year will be even greater. In fact, on a per-capita basis, I suspect that the percentage of animals killed exceeds that of the Orange County Animal Shelter in Orange.

Before animal lovers rush into a regional shelter with Mission Viejo, they should examine the facts. Mission Viejo offers animals no more chance of life than the county. It will cost taxpayers more money. ($2.3 million for unusable hillside land). It is a few miles closer for residents of South Orange County, though.

You should present the facts of life for a dog or cat found in Mission Viejo. What are the odds they will be killed? And what if a dog or cat is found in Irvine? Or San Clemente? And don't forget the county.

When and where will animals receive truly humane treatment? The facts argue against Mission Viejo being the place.


Capistrano Beach

* For the life of me I cannot see what all the fuss is about regarding the folks who object to Mission Viejo's animal shelter. Aside from the platform it gives some politically ambitious people, the shelter is merely adequate for the city's present needs for caring for animals.

It boggles the mind that anyone would complain about a structure that is harmlessly new and takes advantage of thoughtful planning and design. Sure, the shelter wasn't built from discarded lumber and rusted nails, but there were some donated materials and lots of donated hours to put both the structure and the operations in place.

Not that long ago, an earlier City Council felt that the coffers were so full that every resident should receive a $500 tax refund. Sensible voters said no. We said no so that just such community assistance as an animal shelter could be provided.

A running terror afflicts the taxpayer, and it is all too easy to seize on catchy phrases such as "the Taj Mahal" without checking on the facts. For a short while, I was one of the 50-some volunteers at the shelter. Cleaning cages was my forte. While there, I noted the extreme dedication of both paid and unpaid workers, who are too busy to respond to diatribes against the shelter. Phones ring constantly. Some "customers" are rude, stupid and cruel. The staff is intensely busy, rescuing, cleaning, feeding, dosing, dipping, and, if there is time, loving these tender brutes who ask nothing more than to be given decent lives.

Would that the complainers come down and contribute instead of endlessly carping.


Mission Viejo

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