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April 13, 2011

Inbox — April 13, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Correction
In last week’s issue, the story “Straw dogs” provided the incorrect title for Pamela Rogers, who played a key role in crafting Louisville’s 2006 “dangerous dog” ordinance. Rogers did so in her capacity as a legislative research coordinator for the Humane Society of the United States, which is not affiliated with the Kentucky Humane Society. LEO regrets the error.

KHS Offers TLC
As the oldest and most established animal advocacy organization in Louisville, we consider ourselves community experts on sheltering and adoptions. As such, we feel it is important to respond to some inaccuracies in your “Straw dog” article (LEO Weekly, April 6).

The Kentucky Humane Society advocates for the humane treatment of pets, and we are industry leaders in sheltering and adoption. When we were asked to help increase adoptions and improve the quality of animal care at Louisville Metro Animal Services, we were able to lend a hand. Our adoption rates exceed those of other organizations, and with that successful history comes the experience to share best practices and save more lives. In 2010 alone, we adopted, transferred or returned-to-owner 6,783 animals — saving 77 percent of the animals that came through our doors, well above the national average of approximately 50 percent.

While it was quoted that we may euthanize for “overpopulation,” it has been more than two years since we have been forced to do so, and our euthanasia numbers have significantly declined across the board. For us, the responsible approach to maintaining our pet population is through proactive spay/neuter and pet retention programs. Our low-cost S.N.I.P. Clinic has altered 35,000 owned pets since 2007, and our behavior and training programs help keep more animals happily in their homes. We are proactively working toward the day that no adoptable pet is euthanized in our community.

It was also asserted that KHS does not work with outside rescue organizations. In fact, we have a strong network of rescue partners and transferred 8 percent of our population to rescue in 2010. We also provided extra TLC to more than 1,100 animals before adoption through our foster care program.

We have served the animals and people of Louisville for more than 125 years, providing food, shelter and medical care for thousands of unwanted animals. We define our successes by the number of animals we save not only now, but in the future. For more information on our programs, we encourage you to visit www.kyhumane.org.
Lori Redmon, Kentucky Humane Society President & CEO

Fake is Good
I rarely email feedback, but if someone here in town is kicking ass on the Internet, the least I can do is give props. I really enjoyed the Fake Issue 2011 (LEO Weekly, March 30). Good job, everyone who wrote it. I found it by searching “museum plaza” in Google News, which was funny in and of itself (it was the only result).
Jon Bois, Highlands

Blame Politicians
A group of us read/discussed the attention-holding Fake Issue. We laughed, put arms around one another, and formed a bonding circle like skydivers. Another great LEO.

For unsettled readers, I share somber sections of Charley Reese’s March 31 column in the Orlando Sentinel:

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them … Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of 300 million who are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country … I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a speaker, who stood up and criticized the president for creating deficits. The president can propose a budget. He cannot force Congress to accept it.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Bob Moore, East End

Debunked
In response to Sam Sloss’ “Scared” letter in the March 23 LEO, is this meant as a joke? I seriously can’t tell. Operating under the assumption that Sloss is serious, I’d like to offer a rebuttal to his points.

He questions whether mercury in our drinking water is really a hazard. Mercury is a heavy metal that accumulates in body tissues, so even low levels in the environment will build up to toxic levels over time. Mercury poisoning is a well-documented hazard. Why would Sloss think it’s safe?

He also questions the link between cigarette smoking and cancer. Men who smoke are about 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer, and women who smoke are about 13 times more likely than non-smokers. This seems like overwhelming statistical evidence to me.

Sloss thinks that because radiation is used to treat cancer, it’s not harmful. The fact is, it’s used because radiation is harmful. The damage is more pronounced in tissues that undergo more rapid cell division, like cancerous tumors. The radiation also causes some damage to “normal” tissue, but the damage is less of a risk than allowing the cancer to spread unchecked. I know what I’m talking about on this one — there are 72 radioactive iodine seeds in my prostate burning away at the cancer there.

His reference to the “crazy monkey theory” and his belief about the age of the universe mark him as a young Earth creationist. This is fine as a personal belief system but has no place in a science classroom. There are a host of books debunking the “science” behind these beliefs.

Final point, the GOP/Tea Party is not running anything much less the economy. They are serving as nothing more than obstructionists championing the same old policies that got us into this mess to start with.
Paul Riley, Shively

Sarcasm and Science
Sarcastic letters do not promote valid arguments nor civil approaches to communication. Case in point is the sarcastic letter by Sam Sloss, which is an attack on a whole group of people — the Tea Partiers. This is a hypocritical stance, as that writer would not expect to be mocked himself. And certainly it is disingenuous, as this writer shows his prejudices and presumptions about every member of this political group.

Even if you decide to be sarcastic, be accurate. Scientists have said that man and apes came from a common ancestor, not a “monkey thing.” I know this, but the writer did not. And in this sarcasm, there is a false comparison between the ideas that Tea Partiers don’t side with the science they already believe in (despite this letter) and that of child labor laws.

The best approach is to be direct with the audience and explain why and how you believe that a different side is wrong. As it is, you do yourself a disfavor as a representative of the opposing side by painting your side as verbal attackers, mean-spirited and emotionalistic people who can’t give a direct argument. I welcome opportunities to read civil discourse, not these hostile, inaccurate, misrepresenting, sarcastic letters.
Robert Veith, Meade County, Ky.