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Breeder’s permit to reduce unwanted cats, dogs

My Opinion
Ross Schulz, Staff Writer

The breeder’s permit law approved recently by Harrison County officials drew a measure of criticism, mainly through feedback on this newspaper’s website, but it also caught the eye of an upstart organization called Protect the Harvest.
Created by Forrest Lucas, the main objective of Protect the Harvest is to combat animal rights groups that are forcing their lifestyle on everyone through politicians and legislation, making life difficult for farmers, pet owners and the general public as a whole through higher food costs.
It’s a great organization and its message is sorely needed in this country. It’s good to see someone take the offensive and provide viable opposition to the Humane Society of the United States and other groups whose goal and mission has nothing to do with protecting animals but, instead, eliminating meat from everyone’s diet.
However, Protect the Harvest and anyone else would be mistaken if they thought Harrison County officials had any other motives than to reduce the number of unwanted animals killed in the county.
Most of the negativity stemmed from ignorance about the law, understandably so since it hasn’t been discussed at great length publicly.
The ordinance will not do anything to negatively affect responsible pet owners. Animal control has no issue with the majority of pet owners in the county, but it’s the few who don’t follow the rules that ruin it for the rest of us, and this ordinance will give officials an avenue to combat those irresponsible pet owners who dump cats or dogs along the side of the road or let their animals run wild.
It will hopefully release a burden on those who have worked to care for the unwanted pets in the county, which are there, whether seen or not, as evidence by the animal control facility’s numbers.
Most people shudder when they hear Bruce LaHue’s statistics from his time as the county’s animal control officer, specifically that, in 2011, 88 percent of the animals admitted to the animal control facility were euthanized.
That’s what this ordinance will hopefully be able to reduce.
It’s not communism, it’s not government intrusion and it’s certainly not a front group for the humane society trying to end pet ownership around the world.
It’s simply a responsible government agency trying to provide a better place to live for its citizens and animals.
Tanya Tuell, the county’s spay and neuter coordinator, put it best when she said animal shelter staff should not have to deal with the ‘indescribable task of euthanizing an endless stream of animals.’
The permit ordinance, which will require a free permit to be obtained for anyone not spaying or neutering their pets, will be put in place July 1.
To contact LaHue or the animal control facility, call 738-8163. The facility has a number of adoptable cats and dogs, many of which can be viewed online at www.petfinder.com/shelters/HN284.html. The facility is always looking for volunteers.
For Harrison County Spay and Neuter, call Tuell at 969-2615.

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