Letter to the Editor

Compassion for pets is the goal

Saturday, October 2, 2004

To the editor:

Those of us who spoke against the changes in Cape Girardeau's animal ordinance have failed to communicate the fundamental principles involved. The point is not how many pets one may have, but how to treat other creatures in our community with compassion. Killing thousands of unwanted dogs and cats, like we do now, is just not right. A more compassionate community would oppose the new ordinance in favor of one that discourages breeding and provides sanctuary for unwanted or lost animals.

These measures would work to decrease the pet population and to decrease suffering and killing. The new ordinance does no more than the old to discourage breeding. On the other hand, it make illegal caring for more than four dogs, altered or not.

The way we treat companion animals generates so much controversy that one cannot ignore it as trivial. I suspect that many citizens who do not want to take in homeless animals would contribute generously to a sanctuary.

It may not be true that "only kindness matters," as the song goes, but it does matter. As a guide to right and wrong, it surely trumps expediency and convenience.

STEPHEN W. STIGERS, Cape Girardeau