News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Strengthen animal-abuse punishment


This letter is in regard to your article about the poor, abused dog recently found in a Dumpster. Anyone who could harm an animal in this way and duct-tape his mouth shut and toss him into a Dumpster wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing to another human being. The only justifiable punishment for whoever did this to this helpless animal would be to render the same brutal treatment they gave this dog. Only that would make us as barbaric as them.

Until the animal-rights laws are changed, this type of abuse will continue. A Class C felony is a slap on the wrist.

Joyce Hood


Tips to protect your pet from cruelty, abuse


Our caring community has come together in outrage over the cruelty and abuse suffered by the helpless dog Lucky. We all hope to see this individual caught and forced to pay for his actions. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. As education coordinator for the Morgan County Humane Society, I would like to offer some tips to protect our animals. Just as we protect our children from predators, we can also protect our animals.

First, leash your animals. Animals should be supervised or confined to the owner's property. Animals running loose are subject to abduction to be used as bait animals or sold for research, they often get into garbage, threaten people or other animals and are in danger of becoming roadkill. A fenced yard is best, but even a small pen with lots of family playtime is fine. Do not tie the dog in the yard. This is cruel, makes a dog aggressive and makes it easy for someone to steal the dog while everyone is away.

Second, spay or neuter your pet. This is by far the easiest and best method of reducing unwanted litters. Spaying the female prevents unwanted litters as well as preventing some cancers in dogs. In males, it reduces aggression, marking and roaming. Contrary to popular belief, this does not psychologically affect your animal. They don't know that they have been "fixed."

Third, do not give free puppies or kittens to strangers. This is the best known method for securing free bait animals. Require veterinarian or other known references. Remember that the friendly looking guy who offers to take them off your hands may have ulterior motives.

Please — follow these tips so we don't have any other Luckys and so that every animal has a chance for a good, loving, friendly home.

P. Kay Anderson


Eye for an eye; dog for a dog?


The Bible says, "an eye for an eye," so my solution for justice for Lucky is to place the people who did this to him into the same pen with the pit bulls. Then let their "sick" friends bet on the winner. Justice? Yes?

Jayne Gross


Spay, neuter your animals; know adopter


Concerning Lucky the dog that was found in the Dumpster so badly abused his leg had to be amputated: I just wonder how many dogs are not so lucky? I just wonder where Lucky came from — maybe from an ad for free puppies? Where are Lucky's litter mates?

People don't realize that when they run free ads for dogs or cats, although there are some good people out there, many, many times it is the people who don't want to pay for an animal who will use these ads for their own ill gain.

The extent of animal abuse is rampant and people just don't realize it. People don't understand what they don't see with their own eyes. Animals are not taken because someone wants a pet. They're taken because someone has another use for that animal, so obviously when they see "free animal" notices they jump on them.

Lucky was used as a bait dog, but others are sold to laboratories, still others are used as snake food. There are many ways these animals are being abused and we must take responsibility for the main problem: overpopulation. Overpopulation is a large problem and we as a community must spay and neuter our animals to stop some of this abuse. It is the dogs in the back yards and the cats running wild that are having litters that are being given away or thrown away. Take the time to spay and neuter your pets and also keep your back yards locked. It's a shame this is not like times long ago when animals could run free, but it's not.

Dogs are taken daily from our own back yards and used for many of the same practices stated above. We must educate the public.

Help Lucky and all those like him that are helpless.

Melanie Starbuck


Dog help is welcome; now help humans


I was somewhat amazed when I first saw the article about Lucky, the dog that was found in a Dumpster, right next to it was an article explaining how Meals on Wheels was in financial trouble and would most likely have to make some cuts in service. A day or so later a follow up article said that there had been some $6,000 donated for a reward in an effort to find out who hurt Lucky.

It saddens me that people will donate money to help a dog but will not donate to help feed fellow human beings. I hope that people will find it in their hearts to donate to the Meals on Wheels program.

James Henderson


Moore would continue to embarrass state


Alabamians again find themselves with a choice regarding our homegrown infamy, Roy Moore.

Moore, in his ultimate wisdom, has decided that his stint as a Constitution violator and lawbreaker during his theocratic time at the Alabama Supreme Court was not enough to embarrass the state of Alabama. No, fellow Alabamians, he is back to embarrass us some more by running for governor.

We will ignore the fact that he once told us that he would never run for governor (violating one of his Ten Commandments?). Of course, the followers of Moore could care less about his shenanigans as long as he holds true to his theocracy.

What pains me is that many Alabamians will vote for him solely for his escapades in our Supreme Court and for religious reasons. After all, his campaign motto for Chief Justice was, "Still fighting for the Ten Commandments." Maybe it is just me, but Moore's supporters appear like the famed orphan who asked, "Please sir, may I have some Moore?"

How will it help to have Moore run the orphanage? What we need to do is get ourselves out of the orphanage and fight for real issues: education, economics, equality, and other issues that will advance the state.

Perhaps our state's Democrats should vote in the Republican primary and cast a vote for a different Republican. We need to keep Moore out of the governor's office. Alabama has seen enough embarrassment at the hands of Moore.

Blair Scott


Deputy chief not needed; police cars are


I am a retired police officer from another state and I chose to live in Alabama because of its nice, friendly atmosphere. I work and have family in Decatur.

I question why the Decatur Police Department has to have a deputy chief. I have several friends of all ranks from within the department, and frankly, they question the necessity as well. Currently, in the absence of the chief of police, the senior of the three captains fills in as deputy chief.

I ask, why is it necessary to make a deputy chief, with higher pay, doing the same duties as a captain? I mean, he is only going to fill in as deputy chief when the chief is absent.

Could not tax dollars be more wisely spent under the current system? If the chief needs this much assistance, would it not be a wiser move to re-write his job duties, and delegate more duties to the three captains already in place? The Decatur Police Department is not a big department. As a matter of fact, it is stretched way too thin. The current command staff is more than adequate and economical. I think it would be wiser to keep the current system in place, and for the City Council to concentrate on more important issues in the department, such as replacing the worn-out 1997 patrol cars our patrolmen are driving. A budget has been passed, and our officers deserve better.

This is an issue worth the investment, and worth immediate attention. When the department gets larger, and that will be sometime down the road, then explore the feasibility of a deputy police chief's position. It does not seem that it is necessary now.

Richard Jennings


Decatur needs more ambulance service providers


I am writing to thank Ray Metzger and Gary Hammon for their support for more ambulance services in Decatur. This shows that they really care. The recent Solutia accident should have sent a message to Mayor Don Kyle, Billy Jackson, Ronny Russell and David Bolding, but apparently they're not listening to the people of Decatur, who made it clear they want more ambulance services. Moulton has two ambulance services and Hartselle has four — soon to be five. Everyone around Decatur has more than one ambulance service.

Mayor Don Kyle and Councilmen Billy Jackson, David Bolding and my councilman Ronny Russell have let Decatur down again.

I was born and raised here in Decatur and grew up in the community of Austinville, which joined the city in the 1950s. I am very proud of my city but not so proud of our mayor and councilmen.

I was disappointed when I heard that Mayor Kyle and Councilmen Jackson, Russell and Bolding have ordered David Childers of Med-Call out of Decatur. I just hope the people of Decatur will remember this in our next city election.

David W. Kelley


Thanks for responding to church fire


We the people of Priceville Baptist Church wish to acknowledge our sincere gratitude to the fire departments of Priceville and Decatur. Their rapid and professional response on Feb. 26 prevented any serious damage or loss to our church buildings and property.

Our sincere thanks to the emergency response crews, as well. They mobilized quickly, were on the scene and were well prepared for any contingency. Their readiness to respond, training, experience, equipment and personnel were a great help.

James M. Schrimsher, pastor


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