Large building for animals not needed

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I have tried to keep up with the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s wishes, but to be quite truthful, it has been difficult to do.

As best I can determine, one side wants to build an elaborate facility for housing unwanted animals and the other side thinks the present structure is OK, it just needs renovation.

I love my dog. I supply her needs and try my best to protect her from harm and disease. I do this because she is wanted. With unwanted animals, it is an entirely different story. They usually roam free, are the ones to tip over your garbage, kill your cat or attack your grandmother.

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I remember when Natchez had a dog pound and a dogcatcher with a .22 caliber rifle. He would catch unwanted animals, hold them at the pound for a week for possible reclamation or adoption and then dispatch them with his rifle. Animal control was done efficiently, cheaply, and above all, humanely. People who have survived a near-fatal gunshot to the head report that upon the moment of impact, there was instant unconsciousness. No pain, no distress, just a simple “lights out.”

Today, we try to disperse unwanted animals, and when all else fails, we euthanize them. Euthanization is done by restraining the animal and injecting succinyl choline and/or potassium chloride into a vein.  It cannot be given as a “shot,” it must be given intravenously. Succinyl choline paralyzes the muscles used in breathing and the animal suffocates. Potassium chloride stops the heart from beating.

This is all begun on fully conscious animals struggling to be free.

Where have our senses gone?

Now, I read that a law was recently passed making it a felony in Mississippi to subject an animal to intended cruelty. The perpetrator is now eligible for “hard time” in prison. I agree somewhat with this law, but isn’t this a bit much? Would not a stiff fine be sufficient to curtail another misdeed?

What’s the next step? Will we someday be arrested for eating a pork chop or branding a cow? Will vegans then be the only people living outside of prison?

The latest upheaval, it seems, that has occurred in reference to the Humane Society in Natchez is the tiff going on between the county supervisors. It’s sort of like watching an old western movie. To kill a thousand Indians is OK, but we are left aghast when someone wants to shoot a horse during the battle.

In this latest fiasco, I tend to side with Henry Watts and those who want renovation of the old structure.

Mr. Watts is trying to be a good steward of public funds, but in some cases he seems to be swimming upstream against a strong current filled with piranhas in doing so.

I have a friend who has worked diligently for many years for the Humane Society, (as have many others). I hope that after she reads this piece, she will still be my friend.

Ed Field

Natchez resident