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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Dog licenses good; now cats
To the editor:
Kudos to the Island County commissioners! Increasing the fees for dog licenses and eliminating the group rate (which encourages backyard breeders) is long overdue, especially for people with unaltered animals. As the owner of six rescue dogs, I only wish that the fees had been increased for unaltered animals to at least $300 a year!
We all pay taxes to support the costs involved with unwanted animals; HSUS estimates that 6 to 8 million cats and dogs a year enter shelters and that 3 to 4 million are euthanized every year. Who pays? Taxpayers. Who contributes to the problem? People who breed dogs — and not just mutts; purebred dogs are about 25 percent of the above figures (HSUS).
As to cats, I agree with Rob McCarthy: cats are the only domesticated animal that aren’t regulated. What’s up with that?
The American Bird Conservancy estimates that about 500 million birds are killed each year by cats (half by pets and half by feral animals, which, of course, came from pets since cats are not native to this country). These numbers don’t include lizards, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels — the list staggers the imagination. Cats also make cat boxes of folks’ flower beds, kids’ sandboxes, etc., which can spread disease to people and animals. They sprint across roads, endangering themselves and drivers. Leash laws and cat licenses are becoming common, and the commissioners should recognize that the continued expense of cats should be covered in part by cat owners, especially of unaltered animals.
Meanwhile, congratulations again to the county commissioners for being brave enough to take this first step in correcting a serious problem.