To the editor:
In response to letters from Barry Horton and Michael Maguire regarding the cost of adopting pets: If Horton purchased his dog from a breeder in our state who fails to screen for the most common genetic problems (mange, hip dysplasia, thyroid disease, allergies and weak temperament), his bills could be sky-high. Many of these breeders have multiple dog breeds with cages stacked on top of each other and animals kept in filthy conditions.
If a dog breeder doesn't offer a contract, return policy, health guarantee or chance to see the pup's parents, then don't buy the puppy. Leave before you spend hundreds of dollars and buy a genetic disaster from breeders whose pups will jerk heartstrings.
Reduce the numbers of unwanted dogs in shelters. Keep their care and kill costs down. Believe it or not, this will lower your veterinary expenses too. If consumers would wise up and not support breeders who don't supply clean, spacious kennels and healthy breeding animals, the chain of events that lead to expensive veterinary care and genetic or conditional temperament would reduce.
MARILYN OLSON NEVILLE