Rescuers do think

As a pro-choice animal rescuer, I recognized some truth to your editorial last month, but it also made me uncomfortable to be categorized as feeling-driven over logic-driven. Those who know me wouldn’t ever categorize me as driven by emotion, in fact I have far more in common with Data than I do with Deanna Troi.
    That said, I have been in no-kill long enough to recognize differences within the overall group. There are those who will not euthanize an animal regardless of circumstance, with the idea that any life, regardless of quality, is better than none at all. I have seen terminally ill unadoptable cats languishing in cages for months with minimal human contact until they die. I have condemned that. I have also divorced myself from a no-kill group that will euthanize if a dog bites once. No vet visit, no trainer, no question, done.
    As with many things, the middle of the road is often the best path. I come from a philosophy of no-kill but also consider individual circumstances. Specifically, euthanasia decisions are made from medical data. Animals with behavior problems are evaluated, and if unadoptable placed in a safe, humane environment. Some dogs, for the safety of all, must be put down. Pregnant animals early in gestation are often spayed.
    I honor the lives of the animals, and it crushes me when Roswell euthanizes 3-month-old puppies rather than feed them for another few days until they find a home. The logic here is that a puppy is very adoptable, and an 18-year-old sick dog is not. If a choice must be made, it seems clear to me. The choices we are faced with as rescuers are not easy, but they need to be made.
    I do consider myself to be a thinker, but the best balance is most likely a combination of thinking and feeling when making any decisions,

    Dawn Janz

Hunting dog trainers not alike

I was truly saddened and surprised by the letter “Stop training dogs to kill” written by the terribly misinformed Gloria McCary.
    I have trained hunting dogs of all types for the last 57 years. Beginning with Beagles for rabbit hunting, Foxhounds for deer, Pointers and Setters for quail and Treeing Walkers for raccoon, bear, and lions, I’ve run the gambit with pride and respect for all animals pursued.
    I’m thankful that Ms. McCary was fast to point out what little respect Mr. [Larry] King had, not only for animals but for humans also. I’ve never been associated with a known rapist nor anyone who shot a horse. I myself, nor anyone I’ve ever encountered used or allowed sporting dogs to kill domesticated animals in training. She must have us true sportsmen mixed up with Pit Bull dog fighters.
    As for the New Mexico Dept. of Game & Fish, no state does a better job at taking care of our populations of game animals and fish in our lakes and streams. Numbers of game animals are closely monitored and bag limits set accordingly. I wonder how much money Ms. McCary donates yearly to help preserve our wildlife and habitat for these animals? My guess would be zero.
    Hunters and fishermen solely support New Mexico wildlife.
    So to Ms. McCary and all misinformed anti-hunters, please talk to true sportsmen before grouping us together with rapists and domestic animal killers.

C. Weathington
Santa Fe

Demand an end to antibiotics in feed

On Sept. 18, President Obama signed an Executive Order that requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to “take steps” towards eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion in food-producing animals, and establishes an interagency task force to target antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The FDA had already asked pharmaceutical companies to “voluntarily” stop providing antibiotics to farms for growth production purposes in 2013. Obviously, little has been done.
    But perhaps more unsettling is why no one in New Mexico is talking about this. Despite the 2 million who have been affected by antibiotic resistance, and the 23,000 annually who die as a consequence, not a single local newspaper article has been published on it. We continue to allow millions of people to get sick, and thousands to die, over an issue that is fixable.
    Antibiotic resistance can be traced back to the factory farms where we get most of our food. Eighty percent of the antibiotics used in America are used on factory farms. Antibiotics are a miracle of modern medicine, but they are meant to treat diseases, not to prevent animals from becoming sick, or to Frankenstein bigger animals for ease of consumption. The more we abuse antibiotics, the less capable they will be. We cannot develop new antibiotics at the same rate that superbugs are developing resistance.
    A world without useful antibiotics is rapidly approaching, and it is a terrifying prospect. Asking politely doesn’t keep people safe. The FDA needs to do more than ask pharmaceutical companies “voluntarily” to stop providing antibiotics. The president needs to do more than ask the FDA to “take steps” towards eliminating their use. It’s time for the media to start the conversation. We need to be educated if we’re going to keep our health secure and our antibiotics working for future generations. Choosing to ignore the use of antibiotics in the food industry does not solve the problem. It is time for us, and our government, to make substantial changes.

    Faith Sears
    Simone Eckhardt
    New Mexico PIRG