Letters to the Editor

Shelter woe is fiscal, not McFarland

Susan Robinson's column criticizing the director of animal services ("County animal shelter director's hold time is up," Sept. 7, Page B-7) ignored the magnitude of the pet overpopulation problem and the Department of Animal Services' inadequate facilities and limited budget. Mike McFarland has been forced to make choices where, by necessity, many animals have been losers.

She points out that three veterinary clinics would spay or neuter potentially adoptable pets that would otherwise have to be euthanized, implying negligence on the part of Animal Services for not having more potentially adoptable pets spayed or neutered. However, she says nothing about the cost. If Animal Services were to pay, what cuts in other services would be necessary? In addition, comparing our Animal Services with that of Los Angeles is nonsense without also comparing facilities, budgets and the number of animals.

Robinson's concern for the welfare of animals is admirable. Her apparent disregard for the limited resources of Animal Services in our county is not. Regardless, we give her the benefit of the doubt and recommend that she be appointed the next director of Animal Services. Perhaps she will be able to squeeze more out of their inadequate physical facilities and limited budget.