I was extremely upset to read your reaction to the Puppy Patch as reported in the March 4 Chattanooga Times Free Press. You stated, “It was embarrassing to learn that Cleveland animals were part of that.”
Mr. Mayor, are you not embarrassed of the way this city has run its animal control division for years? Are you embarrassed that the workers at AC (Animal Control) send a “kill list” to volunteers every morning? Surely you are also embarrassed that puppies and kittens die an excruciating death because the animal advisory committee refuses to let them be dewormed?
Or maybe you are embarrassed because the city denied treatment to a stray parvo[-positive] pup that sat at a vet’s clinic for days with no treatment, even though volunteers offered to pay for it. Do you think you might be just a little embarrassed with the fact that you are a mayor of a city that had a kill rate of over 90 percent? Cleveland For a No Kill City started with a few friends and has decreased that rate to less than 3 percent.
Mr. Mayor, nowhere in that article did you state that Cleveland For a No Kill City has saved thousands of animals in the small amount of time they have been in action.
A little over 20 animals were adopted out to the Puppy Patch rescue. No, a home check was not made. Mr. Mayor, you are aware that Animal Control has never made a home visit for a possible adoption? Out of the 1,200 animals saved last year, you are embarrassed about .02 percent? [That’s] 0.2 percent?
I am embarrassed that I live in a city that allowed for the killing of animals daily with no sort of humane action involved. Where is the praise for these volunteers who work countless hours trying to get these animals adopted? We have families and full-time jobs and we give our last remaining hours in a day and sometimes the last dollar we make fighting for these animals. No one else has.
Do you think the other cities are lashing out at the rescues of the other 50-plus animals? No! This fire has been fueled purposefully and with vendetta.
I am truly appalled that you, our city leader, did not take up for our volunteers. Tell me Mr. Mayor, how do you have any say in that at all? If things had been the way they have been for years, those animals would have already been rotting in the landfill. Now that’s embarrassing.
Mr. Rowland, please, I beg of you, look at what they have done. A group of volunteers got together to try and save a few animals. They started a Facebook page and within months it got over 5,000 “likes,” then over 10,000 and now over 15,000 “likes.”
There are people who volunteer all over the country, answering phones, volunteering transportation, donating [toward] vet bills. You should be proud that people like this live in our city.
No one is perfect, Mr. Mayor. Mistakes are made every day. But please look at things realistically. We have a ton of volunteers, but doing a home visit on every possible adopter, rescue or foster is unrealistic.
Please don’t say you are embarrassed by such an amazing group of people who work together, and don’t even know each other!
Stand up and be proud of the kind of people you have representing your city!
— Jennifer King