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Published: Sunday, 7/3/2011

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Preventing cruelty is mission

We thank The Blade for highlighting our Cruelty Division in your June 27 article "For cruelty investigator, cases can be sad surprises."

The Toledo Area Humane Society is a private, nonprofit corporation that receives no tax support. We enforce Ohio's animal protection laws as mandated by our mission statement and by state law.

In addition to enforcing state animal cruelty laws, the society has asked the City of Toledo to give us enforcement authority over the animal cruelty portions of the new Toledo dog law.

The relevant sections of the ordinance outlaw abandoning dogs, depriving them of proper facilities or care, physically mistreating a dog, tethering dogs for extended periods, and confining dogs to motor vehicles.

The society has not asked for enforcement authority over the part of the ordinance that covers dogs that pose a threat to public safety.

Although the society supports legislation that protects citizens from dangerous dogs by judging dogs based on their behavior and holding owners accountable, it is outside of our mission and legal mandate to enforce these laws.

We protect animals from people. Protecting people from dangerous dogs is the role of other law enforcement agencies, including police and sheriffs, dog wardens, and -- in some communities -- animal control departments.

The new Toledo dog ordinance is a well-crafted piece of legislation that has been used as a model in other Ohio cities and in the state legislature. We hope that effective enforcement of the ordinance will lead to a safer Toledo.

John Dinon
Executive Director
Toledo Area Humane Society
Maumee

Dog warden pact is a great deal

In your June 28 story "Dog warden's contract with city questioned; Councilman says new pact would cost $120,000 a year" about the Lucas County Dog Warden's office, Toledo City Council member D. Michael Collins said that it was possible for a deputy to get three calls within 15 minutes of each other, resulting in a charge for each call.

During the 27 years I worked as a deputy dog warden, such a situation never came up. It generally takes 10 to 15 minutes for a deputy to arrive at a scene. Resolving the situation, usually by taking the dog into custody, can take one minute to a half hour.

The second and third calls for service in Mr. Collins' scenario would be a continuation of that original call, so the deputy would be paid for only one call.

Cities and townships contract for after-hours service with the Dog Warden's office because it is a great deal. Once a deputy dog warden arrives on the scene, the situation is no longer a problem. That deputy is a full time, professional canine expert.

He or she impounds the dog, fills out the reports, writes the tickets, and shows up for court. That frees police officers to concentrate on other problems.

The cost to cities and townships to assume their own dog control service would certainly exceed current costs.

There has been a Lucas County deputy dog warden on call continuously since 1984. There is no reason to change that now.

David L. Blyth, Jr.
Staff Representative
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Ohio Council 8 Reynolds Road

TPS teachers put own needs second

Congratulations to Toledo Public School teachers for taking a 2.5 percent pay cut from their wages ("TPS teachers, board approve report calling for $44M in cuts," June 29).

It was an unselfish showing on their part that they put educational sacrifices ahead of their monetary needs. If only our government representatives in Washington would realize that by taxing the wealthy, even a small percent of their wages, the debt could slowly be reduced.

Teachers' pay is only in the five digits, while many of the wealthy have incomes in six, seven, and eight digits.

The sacrifices the wealthy would incur would be minimal, and every little bit helps.

When you vote during the next election, I hope you will carefully listen to what the candidates really stand for before you elect them to office.

Nancy Setzler
Fremont, Ohio

State lawmakers have a lot of nerve

Included with your June 29 story "GOP muscles budget through state Senate" was a breakout of budget highlights. The budget's provisions do not include a proposed 5 percent pay cut for each lawmaker.

How do legislators have the gall to ask nearly everyone else to make cuts with no plan for them to do so? Where are their priorities?

Shirley Mikesell
Bryan, Ohio

Let voters decide zoo levy request

The citizens of Wood County do not need to be protected from the right to vote on a regional issue ("Wood County rejects zoo levy; Board says no to tax vote," June 22).

Wood County residents should be allowed to vote on the Toledo Zoo levy, a regional issue pertinent to all of the residents in the county. If the levy is unacceptable, it can be voted down; if acceptable, it can be approved.

The right to vote is the basis of a democratic society. The action exhibited by Wood County commissioners opposes cooperation, at a time when this region needs all the support we can muster to address employment and funding problems in northwest Ohio.

The request was to allow a vote on a regional issue. Stopping a vote is unacceptable.

Higher taxes, zoo accountability, and other matters addressed at the public hearing confuse and misrepresent the issue. The ability to vote must be preserved.

The commissioners should revisit this issue, and with some common sense restore the vote to all of  Wood County. It is a bad precedent to block the vote of the citizens on a legitimate issue.

William and Kay Jacob
Perrysburg

Voting process a bipartisan concern

In response to the June 27 Readers' Forum letter "Election editorial gets this vote," I would hope that a bipartisan concern exists that not only does everyone vote, but that the process be carried out in a proper, thorough, and transparent manner.

Janet Miller
South Reynolds Road

Failure to address domestic violence

Domestic violence has been the second most reported crime for the past seven years in the Cherry Street Legacy neighborhoods ("Conviction rate found low in domestic-abuse cases," June 22).

Something is broken. Prevention programs are not lowering the incidence of domestic violence in the area.

Preventing domestic violence should be a community goal. When domestic violence does occur, the victim should be supported and protected, and the offender should be held accountable for his or her behavior.

The community should set a zero tolerance standard for violent behavior of any kind. Each act of violence that occurs affects not only the victim and the offender, but also the neighborhood.

The statistics in the Court Watch report by Independent Advocates scream for system change. Prevention systems, response systems, and prosecution systems are failing our community.

Only 13 percent of offenders are held accountable for violent acts of behavior. If the system doesn't change, then the community has a responsibility to change its leadership. The 2012 elections offer that opportunity.

Karen Rogalski
Coordinator,
Cherry Street Legacy
Toledo

Billions in profits are not enough?

The price of gasoline has jumped 40 cents a gallon in just a couple of days. Why?

There hasn't been any new interruption in crude oil or gasoline supplies. The government just released crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Oh, wait, I know. It's a major holiday weekend.

It must be that the billions of dollars in profits the oil companies make are not enough, so a little profiteering will remedy that.

What else would it be called? I'm sure the oil companies will come up with some kind of excuse.

Stephen R. Kellogg
Champion Street



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