Teach kids animal care

Wesley Brown’s piece “Animal shelter kill rate is high” (April 2) highlighted a serious problem in our country.

As he pointed out, the base of the problem is people who refuse to spay or neuter their animals. This deficiency is expensive and dangerous for the community, let alone the innocent animals that are killed by the shelter workers who hate to do it, and whose primary job is to show care and compassion for them.

I came up with a simple idea that I hope to carry out in my own community of Washington, Ga. I am going to talk to the school administrators about going into each classroom with one of my dogs and teaching the children how to care for a dog or cat, including the importance of fixing the animal so they can’t have babies.

Children are sensitive, especially at a young age, and starting this teaching early and continuing it through high school will help stop this problem. They can and will influence their parents when taught the important responsibilities of having a pet. The time will be spent on teaching the children that animals have feelings and experience pain; that they need daily food and water, a warm, dry place to sleep, vet care and daily exercise; and that being chained to a doghouse is wrong and against the law. It also is important to remember an animal shouldn’t be left in a car where it will get too hot even on a cool day.

An outsider with a passion for the subject would be the best teacher, but it is such a massive problem that the proper animal care also could become part of the curriculum. Georgia counties should care about the creatures entrusted to us and the resources that are spent on a situation that is not going to change without serious intervention.

Michele Hamlin

Washington

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