Letter to the Editor
It disappoints me to say that for the first time I am truly embarrassed and flat out ashamed of a decision made in my community. The same community that I've always been so proud to tell people I was born and raised in. Clearly, our hearts, morals, and priorities are not where they belong when it comes to improving our area and the value of a life.
So the excuse is that there would be a "potential" noise/odor issue if the Emmet County Animal Shelter would move to 201 S.6th St. Really? Have you people ever been down there? Are you completely oblivious to the railroad tracks? How about the scrap metal yard? Not to mention the rendering plant when it comes to odor. You can't tell me that you have never noticed the lovely smell that so frequently coats the town, ESPECIALLY, the south side of town. & you can't tell me that you don't have a "yappy" dog in your neighborhood, or a dog that sits on a chain or lives in a kennel 24/7. Odds are this dog is barking for attention, or its basic needs aren't being met. I'd be willing to bet that if you got hold of somebody with the shelter they'd be willing to help you out, whether it be by simply educating the owner or other means. This would be much more attainable if there was a building to go to. Besides, the small number of dogs that would actually be housed temporarily at the location on 6th St would receive 5 star accommodations and more attention than they'd know what to do with. Heaven forbid they might act like a dog and occasionally let out an enthusiastic bark. GET OVER IT, I doubt you would even notice it over the machinery in the scrap yard. As for the odor, I'd be willing to bet the shelter is cleaner and more sanitary than most of your neighbors homes! Basing your decision/vote on these "issues" is a complete and total cop out to help you sleep better at night.
Did you ever consider the benefits to the kids in our community? The 6th Street location is absolutely perfect! Kids could safely ride their bikes or walk (getting fresh air and exercise in the process) to the shelter after school, during the summer, etc. Disconnect them from their video games and facebook and participate in something positive, productive, and so rewarding! Believe it or not, all kids aren't in sports or activities. Maybe a safe outlet like an animal shelter would keep kids from participating in negative activities, due to lack of boredom that hinders our community and their own well-being. The fulfillment and sense of accomplishment they would receive would far out-weigh any "potential" noise/odor issue. We complain about kids these days lacking respect, ambition, and responsibility. What better way to teach respect, than teaching RESPECT FOR LIFE? Or teach responsibility by caring for and improving the life of a living creature? My four year old absolutely loves "working" at the shelter! She begs to go everyday when I pick her up from daycare. That in itself makes my heart smile and is so rewarding as a parent. The gain that the animals receive from the kids is just as great as the gain the kids receive from the animals.
On a different note, how nice would it be to have a proper city pound? If you are unfamiliar with the one we currently have I highly recommend educating yourself. I feel truly sorry for anyone that has had a beloved pet impounded up there. It's atrocious. This leads me to address the council members votes.
For two of the members that voted "NO", I know for a fact that you have a pet at home that is 100% treated like a member of the family. Yet you are hindering that opportunity for another homeless pet. All because "you've had people calling and complaining already." WOW, that's sad. I'm curious if you would be comfortable leaving your beloved pet in the facility the pound is located at now? I highly doubt it. As for the third council member that voted "NO", your vote should be invalid due to the painfully obvious conflict of interest! You should have done the right thing and "abstained" altogether. I find it hard to believe that the members that did "abstain" could have an interest more conflicting than that. SPEAK UP. To Dave Seylar and Larry Anderson, thank you, you seem to be the only two with the best interest of our community in mind (both four-legged and two)-also the only ones with a logical validation behind your vote.
Like I said, it's sad to see where our community's priorities stand. The animal shelter is trying to save lives, if you want to choose to turn a blind eye to the issue of orphaned, abandoned, neglected, and abused animals then so be it, but do not hinder progress for the people that are ready to tackle the issue head on, not to mention the lives that depend on it. We've got our brand new "Pavillion", all the shelter wants is an empty, abandoned building that is in dire need of a facelift. Why is such a painfully obvious solution to such a large problem this difficult for our community to grasp? It should be a no-brainer here people. This is a necessity in our community, not another luxury.
*Make this right Estherville*
I'm going to end my rant with an awesome quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Societies punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our souls when we look the other way."