Letters: Abandoned pets, abortion legislation | Opinion

Take care of unwanted pets

A few evenings ago, after dark, a truck stopped below our house for a moment then sped into the forest along a Forest Service road. About 20 minutes later, a frightened and confused dog showed up on our porch.

We checked with our neighbors, but no one recognized this young, unneutered male dog. We cared for him that evening but decided we could not provide a home since we had already taken in a cat and dog. Our friends and neighbors couldn’t take on another pet either.

Thanks to quick assistance from Carter County law enforcement, we were able to bring this abandoned animal to the wonderful and caring people at the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter. The shelter was full, but these incredible folks made room.

While this was a moment of good fortune for us, the burden of caring (and hopefully finding a new family) for this poor animal was simply passed on to the animal shelter.

The reality is that the majority of pets abandoned in the forest will not have a Disney-style happy ending. They will have short, miserable lives trying to survive. They will be lonely and afraid. They will die of starvation, disease, injury or a combination of all three.

If you or someone you know is not able to properly care for your family pet, please take the time to try and find it a loving home. This will take some effort and patience, but it is the least we can do for these animal companions that rely on us.

If a new home cannot be found, discuss options with the folks at the animal shelter, and don’t forget to donate to that important organization!

DICK MARTINDALE

Hampton

Keep abortions safe

I am against the bill proposed by Rep. Rebecca Alexander and Sen. Rusty Crowe to ban all abortions in Tennessee. Not providing any relief for situations of rape, incest, etc. is inhumane.

I am old enough to remember before Roe v. Wade and the back-door doctors who performed abortions. The women were felt home to deal with the aftereffects on their own. If there was a medical issue, they would end up at the ER, and there was no history for the staff to go on.

There were also women who injected themselves with lye or used coat hangers to cause miscarriages. Is this what you envision for women in Tennessee?

If you and your colleagues are going to force women to carry a baby to term, are you going to also provide proper health care, income and other needs to the woman? You won’t provide health care to the poor and needy now, what are you going to do about the woman who is forced to have a baby with a birth defect and needs special care?

Another issue with your bill is that it creates a vigilante force of “law enforcement.” If you don’t want the state to enforce a law, then it doesn’t need to be enforced. This proposed law is just one more example of the dictatorial attitude of the Republican leadership. They don’t want the federal government telling them what to do, but they have no hesitation to tell every individual and government entity in Tennessee what to do.

You can oppose abortion rights through your faith-based organizations, but as for government, stay out of people’s personal decisions that do not in any way impact your personal life.

HAL HUNTER

Johnson City

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