More Shelter No. 11

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Re: Your article “What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?” [News, Nov. 18]:
    1) Spay or neuter your pets and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
    2) Make a donation to Animal Trustees of Austin, EmanciPet, Town Lake, or any of the wonderful animal rescue groups saving lives in Austin every day.
    3) Adopt your next pet from Town Lake or a rescue group. If you must have a purebred pet, only buy from a responsible breeder. Responsible breeders don't advertise in the paper because they have homes lined up for the litter before they breed. Responsible breeders screen their animals for health problems common to their breed and don't breed those that don't pass. Responsible breeders have contracts that require you to return the animal to them if you can't keep it, and require that pet-quality animals be sterilized. If you are a breeder and don't do any of these things, you are not a responsible breeder. Stop being part of the problem.
    4) Do not get a pet if you cannot make a lifetime commitment to care for it as a member of your family.
    5) Volunteer to become a foster home for a local rescue group.
    6) Volunteer at Town Lake, ATA, or with feral cat trap-neuter-release programs.
    7) Landlords: Change the pet-hostile rental policies that exacerbate this problem. Remove weight or breed restrictions, or make exceptions for those with pet references, obedience training, etc.
    8) Write City Council and county commissioners in support of a mandatory spay/neuter law and more money budgeted for spay/neuter programs, pet owner education, and enforcement of leash and registration laws.
    9) Get help before you dump your pet at Town Lake. Most pet behavioral problems can be resolved.
    Many thanks to the Chronicle for shining a light on this daily tragedy.
Chandra Lewnau
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