Letters to the editor 01/09/2014

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Recent case sends powerful message: Take care of your dog
Editor:
I just returned from three and a half hours in Municipal Court listening to witnesses testify and the prosecutor for the city of Socorro, and the defense attorney argue a case that I think is so important to this city.
On Aug. 7, 2013, a pit bull entered the backyard of a Socorro family living on Western and attacked their family dog. It then chased into their house one of the seven children who had witnessed this awful, violent event. This case was brought to the attention of the City Council in, I believe, September and a trial was set for October but the situation was not really resolved at that time. The judge who heard it was rec used and a new judge heard the case on Jan. 6 of this new year. He handed down a verdict that the dog had to be destroyed for the safety of the community.
It is that simple, but it took so much effort to see this case through to completion.
The message is clear to all in Socorro:
If you have a loose dog, it is violating the law and you can be fined.
If the dog attacks, it will be picked up, and you will be fined.
If it endangers other animals and/or people, it can be put down.
The solution is simple: Take care of your dog. Have it in a secure yard, or under control … at all times. This includes walking it. Yes, this includes around campus or any other place for that matter. Even nice dogs can be unpredictable and can attack people or other people’s pets.

Catharine Stewart-Roache
Socorro

Claws and Paws offers cats a second chance
Editor:
Almost every Saturday my husband and I take cats and kittens to the area in front of Smith’s, hoping to find forever families for one or more of the animals, that for a variety of reasons, were dropped off at the Socorro Animal Shelter.  We are continually amazed at the kindness and compassion people who look at the cats offer us.  We enjoy your stories about your pets and we greatly appreciate your generous donations.  Your words of encouragement give us reason to continue fighting for the voiceless, homeless animals. Whether it be adoption, a monetary donation, or cat food and toys, we could not save so many animals without you.
We have a non-profit called Claws and Paws Rescue. One hundred percent of your donations go towards the care and adoptions of cats and kittens.  We buy antibiotics, kitten milk, starter packs for new adopters containing food, litter, and toys, and we sometimes help supplement the animal’s adoption fee if the adopter does not qualify for a cat spay voucher.
We also try and answer your questions about cat health, habits, and the importance of spaying and neutering your animals. Spaying and neutering is the ONLY answer to the cat/dog over-population plaguing Socorro County.  Many of you have taken advantage of the wonderful gift Santa Fe Cat Spay has offered the residents of Socorro. They will send cat owners vouchers for FREE spay/neuter of ALL cats in households making less than $40,000 a year. Both local vets, The Ark and Animal Haven, honor the vouchers.
But, (isn’t there always a but?) what about the dogs?  The Socorro Animal Shelter is greatly benefited by several dog rescue organizations that work with the shelter manager to transport dogs from Socorro to locations outside of New Mexico where they are adopted into forever homes. This takes money and volunteer hours.  Claws and Paws does not spend any money on soliciting donations, but if you would like to donate money to help the animals of Socorro, you may either send it to Claws and Paws Rescue, 120 Mustang, Socorro, or drop off a donation at our adoptathon in front of Smith’s. Please specify on your donation if you want it spent on cats, dogs, or either.
Please stop by and visit us on any Saturday in front of Smith’s Grocery Store.  We are indebted to store manager Dennis Baca for giving us a place to hold our adoptathons.

Jill and David Urban
Socorro