To the editor:
A pet’s license tag should be its ticket home! Please contact Island County commissioners and Sheriff Mark Brown. Ask them to adopt a formal policy that will let licensed pets in Island County be returned home and not be taken to the shelters whenever possible. And if the owner is not home, to please leave instructions where to find the pet, since ownership rights are lost after five days; also, the sooner the pet is reclaimed, the less it costs taxpayers to shelter during the mandatory hold period.
1. It’s more cost-effective 2. It saves animal control transport time and gas 3. It prevents needless sheltering costs on taxpayers 4. It encourages the sale of license tags, proceeds of which could subsidize low-cost spay neuter programs through local vets, and that would eventually lower the number of feral and stray animals entering the shelters. Currently people have to leave the island to find low-cost services. 5. It lets animal control officers be heroes instead of dogcatchers. 6. It is happening successfully in neighboring jurisdictions like Oak Harbor and King County. Animal control personnel have microchip readers in their vans, and check for both chips and licenses while still in the field. 7. It prevents needless stress on owners and pets, and potential exposure to disease. 8. It eases shelter overcrowding. 9. It creates good public relations and a positive image for the county.
The program was first developed by the animal control director in Calgary, and has since spread nationwide. It’s just not being done in Island County. Help island animal lovers get reunited faster with their beloved pets! It’s good for everyone, furry, fuzzy, or human.
Whidbey Animal Guild