How many pets must die?

N.C. legislature has opportunity to eliminate a senseless slaughter

By James T. Crouse, a Raleigh lawyer who served on the commission
appointed by the legislature to study the pet overpopulation problem
in North Carolina:

The North Carolina legislature has the opportunity this session to
make a statement about itself and our state by passing the Animal
Protection Act, a step toward ending the senseless creation and
destruction of millions of dogs and cats.

I listened to hours of testimony before our committee that revealed
the horrors of the current situation and offered ideas on how to deal
with it. The subcommittee I co-chaired developed the idea for the
increase in the pet food fee to finance low-cost spay-neuter options
and improve shelter conditions across the state.

We worked hard to create a bill that isn’t all things to all people,
but moves us giant steps forward and could, if implemented
effectively, eliminate the problem.

I also listened for alternate solutions and heard none — at least
none that were realistic. Absent from the debate were those voices
who now criticize the bill — the Pet Food Institute and the hunters’
groups that suddenly rail against not only our product but also the
process. (It must be noted that not all hunters oppose this bill).
Not only were these now-critical groups absent during our weeks of
work, but they were also absent all the years while the problem grew.
It seems to me that if they really cared about the problem they would
have been there way before now.

Those of us who toiled are now accused of having “agendas.” What are
they? I’ve seen no evidence of any hidden agendas, but if they are
there, they should be brought into the light by those who say they
exist. Otherwise the complaints of “agendas” are nothing more than
1950′s scare tactics, which I had hoped we outgrew long ago.

Now the opportunity for progress is in our legislators’ hands. Will
they take steps to remove our state’s name from the group that leads
the nation in killing unwanted dogs and cats — 727 per day, 30 per
hour — or will they let this opportunity pass? It all comes down to
whether we take seriously our God-given responsibility to have
dominion over the animals and do what is right, or we shrink from
that responsibility and let the senseless impregnating, birthing and
killing continue.

Will future generations say that in this hour in history a group of
decent and caring North Carolinians finally fixed a situation that
was horribly broken, or will they say we turned our backs because we
were overly concerned about two cents more for a can of dog food?
It is good to recall the words of the song that reminded us 30 years
ago that in this world the beasts (and the children) have no voice
and they have no choice. It is, men and women of North Carolina, up
to us.

I’ve decided to dedicate every bit of effort I have to get this bill passed. I realize that I have NO clout in this state or any other, but I can’t sit back and do nothing.

I got two new foster kittens today. They’re pure gray little 8-week old identical twin boys. They were scheduled to be put to sleep yesterday w/ about 30 other kittens. I know saving two cats isn’t such a huge deal, but I’m doing all that I can. I have to keep reminding myself of that or the thought of not being able to save every animal will consume me.

I have to have five teeth pulled. Four wisdom teeth and one really bad cavity tooth. But the cavity tooth will actually make getting braces easier for me. Yay. I’m still afraid of the dentist, but I have to suck it up and get my ass in there more often.

Jason’s coming to see me soon! He’s scheduled a flight down here for June 18. I’m so very excited.

Kristen’s coming to see me, too! She’s coming in July. I can’t wait for her visit – we’re going to have so much fun.

Thanks to SUPER low airfare, I’ll be flying to Philly in August to see my dad. I’ve never been to Philly, so I have big plans to eat a cheese steak, climb the Rocky stairs and visit the cracked bell.

My new apartment kicks ass. It simply kicks ass.

I’m going to London.
I’m going to London.
I’m going to London.

Maybe if I say it over and over, the reality will sink in and I’ll let myself be exicted. Because, after all, I’M GOING TO LONDON!!!

I’m so exhausted right now that I can’t even muster up the energy to crawl my tired ass into bed. I’ve been moving, packing, unpacking, running errands, etc… nonstop since Wednesday. Shel and the kitties are asleep right now and have been since 6:30. I’m watching Twister and gazing over a sea of boxes, Rubbermaid containers and bubble wrap. I have no idea how I’m going to get it all unpacked, but it should be interesting. My new apartment is so sunny, airy and roomy – very nice indeed. It’s such a change from The Summit. I can’t knock my old place because I have happy memjories there. It was what it was and it was. Because it was my first apartment, it’s special to me as sentimental and cheezy as that may seem. I was sad to leave it. I was more sad to leave Kate, Taylor and Lake Johnson, though.

I’m going to Pittsburgh on Thursday. I feel like I want to submerse myself in all that is Pittsburgh and stay there for a few days. Jason’s graduating and that’s what I’m going up for. It’s been too long since I’ve been home and I’m missing my family more than I can put into words. I can’t believe Jason’s graduating, though. Officer K. is who he will be, although it’s probably the absolute last thing I want. I’d rather he be anything except a police officer. The thought of him being in constant contact w/ the worst American society has to offer makes me ill. But, it’s his passion and everyone deserves to follow their passion. (I just wish his had nothing to do w/ guns)

What else is going on? I want to call my dad – he called me about three or four hours ago – but calling him back means getting off of the couch to get my phone, which isn’t going to happen. I’m forcing myself to stay awake until at least 10:00 so that I don’t throw my whole body out of whack. I wish I could have gone to bed at 6:30 w/ the rest of my little NC family.

Ok, I’m rambling on and not really saying much of anything.

Oh yeah, I just have to say that I am so thankful for Kate, Allan, Brandon, Taylor and Dan for all they did to help me move. They really went above and beyond the call of friendship duty.

I’m going to get off of the couch and go call my dad.