* As one of several dozen Mission Viejo Animal Shelter volunteers, I must respond to the errors in the letter (Aug. 7) from Pepe Michel.
The city employees who staff our pro-life shelter are professionals who are dedicated to providing humane care for the animals we shelter.
The dozens of trained volunteers who clean cages, feed, bathe, groom and exercise our guests care deeply about animal welfare. We have cared for many unlovely but still lovable animals for many months until the right person came along to adopt them. We have comforted animals during necessary euthanasia and wept over them.
It is true that 106 animals were euthanized between July, 1993, and May, 1994. Forty were for medical reasons because sadly it was the humane the thing to do, and 46 because the animals had a history of vicious behavior, and it would have been irresponsible to allow them to be adopted. The total number of animals impounded during that time was 1,146, and over 1,000 were redeemed, adopted or are still awaiting a home.
Those of us who care for our city's lost and abandoned animals are deeply hurt by the irresponsible accusation of murder when occasionally euthanasia is the only responsible and humane choice.
Mr. Michel, please visit our shelter and introduce yourself so that we can give you the facts. Since you say you are concerned, you might even want to join your neighbors in helping us provide care.
PAUL H. STAHLHUTH