Letters to the Editor week of 12-25-08

249

Caring help

To the Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize an outstanding business in southeastern Indiana. Many of you may be familiar with Dr. Harley Robinson and his team at Laughery Valley Veterinary Hospital outside of Versailles. If you are not familiar with them, may this letter inspire you to change that. Like many of you, my pets are part of the family. So when I found my cat, Ripley, in the neighbor’s corn field, nearly dead, my heart sank and my eyes filled with tears. He had been brutally attacked by a dog or coyote.

I immediately rushed him to the vet. From the looks of him, I assumed that I would be putting him to sleep; he was bleeding heavily, cool to the touch, limp and barely breathing. Ripley spent five days/nights receiving constant care from the staff at the hospital. Despite the fact that he growled, hissed and even bit one of them, they treated him as though he were their own pet. He had good days and bad for the first week or so. The staff seemed as affected by his condition as I. They were disappointed when he was not doing well, and clearly happy when he was. Upon calling or walking in the door, they would say, “Hey, I hear Ripley’s having a good day. Doc says he’s doing better.” You could tell that they were pulling for him. Most importantly, Dr. Robinson was always available to talk when I needed him. The first five days were the worst, not having Ripley at home, worried about him, hoping he was okay. I called the hospital numerous times a day. No matter how busy he w as, Dr. Robinson always found the time to talk to me and answer my questions.

There were many times I didn’t think Ripley was going to make it and my husband and I discussed euthanasia. But Dr. Robinson had hope that Ripley would pull through, which in turn gave us hope. And he w as right. It’s been six weeks now and Ripley is doing great. His damaged muscles still need time to heal and strengthen but he is out of the danger zone, happy, sociable and acting like his old crazy self.

Never in my life have I experienced the kind of treatment I have received at Laughery Valley Veterinary Hospital. Every employee, from the receptionist to the veterinary assistants to the doctors are 100 percent top notch, educated, experienced, sensitive and caring people who will treat your pet as their own. I cannot thank them enough for everything they have done for our family.

Pam LaGue

Bennington

Great help

To the Editor:

Even with the cold and wind this past Sunday, our Switzerland County Food Pantry in Quercus Grove served 170 families.

I want to call special attention to two of our food pantry supporters because of the number of people and companies that are involved. People Helping People, the I & M Division of American Electric Power in Lawrenceburg, has again filled the church basement with Kroger canned products. They also provide financial support. Their organization works year round in raising funds.

The other support involving many people is from our schools and Future Farmers of America. They have gathered canned goods and other items from so many.

We appreciate everything from everyone. Thanks.

Lew Gordon

Food Pantry Chairman

Canadian appreciation

To the Editor:

(Editor’s Note: The following letter was received by David Attaway of the Switzerland County Tourism office from the Canadian folks who visited our county recently.)

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Dear David:

Thank you for all of the arrangements that you made for the Canadian Badlands Best Practices Mission. We had an incredible experience in Indiana, particularly in Vevay. We were overwhelmed by the hospitality and generosity shown to our group.

Please extend our thanks to each person who was involved with our group through tours, presentations or attendance at dinners. In particular, we would like to extend a special thanks to you for all of your assistance in organizing meetings, tours and meals for us.

Each participant indicated how much they appreciated learning from your initiatives and experience. Truly, each person came away with a new learning that will help them to grow tourism in their area.

Of note, we especially appreciated learning about your main street initiatives and the commitment that you have to developing Vevay as a destination. All of the members of our group commented on how impressed they were and how much they learned from our stay in Vevay.

Again, thank you so much for the generous sharing of your time and resources. We would welcome the opportunity to host you in Alberta, so please let us know if you are planning a visit here.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Smart, Tourism Coordinator

Elizabeth Kuhnel, Manager, Product Development

Tourism Development Branch

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Personal responsibility

To the Editor:

In reply to Denise Greves’ and Sam Valone’s letter to the editor titled “Criminal act.” Like your family, Denise, my family owns properties in Switzerland County also. I am sorry about your dog, and I am sincere in saying that. The boy was wrong in what he did from the tree stand. He told the truth about the incident. Really, if he had it in him to lie, all he would had to have said was that he was on the ground, he was intimidated by the dogs and he shot them, end of story, no problem. You would be surprised if you knew the number of dogs that are shot by landowners because they are allowed to roam free and disrupt hunting, farm stock and other people’s lives around you in Switzerland County.

In your article you make it sound like the boy was right on the property line. It was actually closer to 200 feet from the property line and at the back of 20 acres, which made it the best part of 1/2 mile from the house. You also said the dogs were “just scaring off deer.” Who gave you the right to allow your dog to roam and “just scare the deer off” on other people’s property. It would be interesting to hear from other property owners and hunters about dogs that roam in their property and cause other problems along with “just scaring the deer off.” You have no consideration for other people (hunters in particular) and property owners, let alone consideration of safety for your own animal. I am sorry you son had to witness this, and I am sincere about that, maybe through this experience he will know more about responsibilities of having a pet, because you sure did not teach him.

I admire you for adopting a dog from the SPCA. I am sure that if you check your paperwork that you agreed to and signed with the SPCA that you agreed to certain rules and requirements of the adoption. One of those rules being responsible for the safety of the animal, and one of those rules is complying with the leash and containment laws. Who would you be angry at if the dog was run over by a vehicle, attacked by a pack of other strays in the woods or coyotes because you let it run. You hold some responsibility in this also.

Yes, Switzerland County is hunter friendly, it’s natural of the area. But one thing is, because of the country setting it does not give you or anyone else the right to allow their animals to roam freely disrupting other lives, hunting or otherwise. The boy has accepted his responsibility in this, and has accepted the punishment. Cowgirl up and accept your own responsibility in this for being a negligent and irresponsible pet owner.

Mr. Sam Velone, I also am a 40-year resident of Indiana. I have worked in the healthcare field for 25 years, and have witnessed first hand some of the hardships law enforcement faces to do their job, and the cost that is paid by our officers to perform their duty. I have the highest of respect for our military, law enforcement, fire department and EMT personnel. I have also witnessed the brutality of animals that have, for some reason, turned on children, and adults, and other people’s pets, only because of irresponsible pet owners that allow them to roam and ignore the leash and containment laws of Indiana.

You speak out so strongly against the Switzerland County juvenile system. The message has been sent from them to this 15 year old. He accepted what was dealt to him. Before you wrote your article, did you know the history of one of the dogs and its aggressiveness that has been experienced by several hunters on this property. I am not trying to, by any means justify what happened. But, have you spoken out so strongly when a child was bitten by an animal, or farm stock destroyed by an animal that was allowed to roam free by irresponsible pet owners that think they are above the laws of Indiana because they own property and can allow their animal to roam freely. Or, in your years of experience, I am sure you have witnessed at least one dog attack victim, child or adult, that w as because of an irresponsible pet owner allowing their pet to roam. Did you take the time to speak out against the local animal control authorities or the pet owners so harshly.

Even more disturbing from a law enforcement officer, have you not witnessed a juvenile that made a not so smart decision that got him in trouble? The boy did wrong, he knows it.

Yes, the crime was committed with a firearm, and yes, after the boy’s punishment is complete, it is to be returned to the family. The same way a family “pet” is returned to an irresponsible pet owner after it does its damage to others and their property, with warnings and punishments to the irresponsible pet owner to obey the law.

Further, what is bothersome, as a law enforcement officer, your harshness towards the Switzerland County juvenile authorities. I know in your experience that you know there are always two sides to every story. Yes, it is evident that you are following this story very closely, and very personal for some reason.

As a law enforcement officer I would hope that you would be interested in this enough to investigate the whole story, look at the whole picture before drawing conclusions, I know you are trained to do that. But, sometimes there are things that blur our vision, and close our ears and we get involved in something that we don’t know all the facts about, or don’t want to know all the facts about. Which is yours? In your years of law enforcement I am sure you have witnessed juveniles that are good kids, and sometimes they make immature decisions that get them in trouble. I am sure you have been trained to recognize those times, and simply making an example every juvenile’s first not so smart decision is not a good decision.

In closing, I also will point out to the citizens of Switzerland County that the juvenile authorities did send a loud and clear message to this young man. They also took the time to see who he was. They saw that he has good grades in school, involved in school activities and sports. He answers yes sir and no mam, he speaks when he is addressed and he is honest. Which, let’s face it, his honesty, along with making an immature decision, is what got him in this mess. I applaud the Switzerland County juvenile authorities for thoroughly looking at this situation, and for this kid’s first not so smart decision that led to trouble, and making a decent judgment against him.

Dan Petrey

Carthage, Indiana