We have responsibility to care for animals

The piece in the Saturday, Dec. 14, issue by Mark Oppenheimer examining Christian perspectives on animal rights offered two notions that cause concern. David Clough is described as a father deciding whether his daughter should have a cat, because he has “misgivings about the use of animals, even for companionship.”

Enlightened readers, Christian or not, probably countered to themselves that some species require our company since we domesticated them. We made them dependent on us; we need to care for them, and that includes providing companionship.

At the close of the article Clough refers to Mary Midgley’s advice to get the cat, because, “ … they can come and go as they please. If they hate it, they can pick someone else or go feral.”

Again, enlightened readers most likely shuddered at someone advocating making a pet miserable by not taking care of it, and allowing it to become someone else’s burden. We have an obligation to find a new home for any pet that hates our own.

One positive thing the article did was inspire me to donate to my local Save A Stray, which finds good homes for abandoned pets. Save A Stray also cares for a couple of colonies of feral cats, getting them fixed to limit the population, with the lofty goal that one day every stray will have a home. It is living the meaning of “dominion” many have come to know: that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of whatever is in our care, including cats.

Terry Keim


Demand humane treatment of animals

Recent articles in The Bulletin have publicized allegations of crimes for the abuse of domestic animals. Also, the death of one of the river otters at the High Desert Museum was featured. No doubt this type of news is published because the general public is saddened and outraged by the death and or cruel treatment of animals. Just this week, trapping was again in the news with traps found in Shevlin Park.

It is ironic that the cruel practice of fur trapping continues to exist and is in fact in full swing this time of year here in Oregon. Our wildlife is subjected to a traumatic, painful and often slow, agonizing death. This same sadistic practice would be prosecuted as an outrageous crime against a domestic animal. The very government bureau, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, that is entrusted with protecting and managing our wildlife, continues to condone and promote trapping. This powerful governmental entity generates income from this cruel “sport” and frequently defends it as a long and established practice. Also, a small but vocal group of trappers continues to defend this “sport” as their right.

Most reasonable people will agree that it is not morally wrong to quickly and humanely kill animals that become pests or for food. A civilized society should take necessary steps to demand that the cruel and inhumane treatment of all animals be stopped. Hopefully the majority of Oregonians will soon make this demand.

Mike Mitchell


Pond critics ignore other nearby dams

Two environmental progressives wrote letters to The Bulletin last week espousing the virtues of the Deschutes River and how it should be left to run wild and free. Neither one, nor any other Mirror Pond opponent, has mentioned the other two dams downriver from the Pacific Power dam at Newport Avenue. The second dam is four-tenths of a mile downstream at Pioneer Park, and the third is six-tenths of a mile beyond that. So following their logic, are we supposed to believe that removing the Newport dam will eliminate silt backing up in the river? Mirror Pond should be dredged and preserved as it has been for over a hundred years. Once the pond is restored to the beautiful placid mirror, maybe the swans will return. We could rename Mirror Pond Swan Lake.

Richard Henry


You can keep your president

If you like your president — you can keep your president!

No, really! I’m officially done with this divisive, conniving and outright lying community organizer. You want him; you can keep him. Good luck with that (if you have any assets).

Tim Sinniger