Originally created 09/01/02

Slams writer for editorial on animal control director



I know some of the reporters and employees at The Chronicle, so I won't let the uninformed wind-bag who wrote the editorial, "Bragdon is an asset," tarnish my opinion of the newspaper, as a whole. But let me just say to the author, shame on you. Apparently you are no animal lover, and obviously you have no idea what goes on at Richmond County Animal Control.

You find it "encouraging" that rescue groups have to pay animal control for the animals they are trying to save. I am sure you have never run an animal rescue group or been a volunteer in one. Countless rescue groups in our area have folded up due to physical, emotional and financial burnout. Animal controls should work with rescue groups in every way possible to save these animals - not work against them.

Every other rescue group in the area has washed its hands of RCAC, except Molly's Militia. The only other group involved there is an in-house volunteer group, several of them being newly appointed RCAC board members. We applaud the work they do.

If you want to take up for Bonnie Bragdon, fine. But for calling the people who have written to defend the animals mean-spirited, unfair, overzealous and loud mouths, you should be fired. The people who write these letters may take out their anger on Dr. Bragdon, but she is the director. She is the one responsible for seeing that water bowls are filled, that every dog gets to eat once a day, that fans are turned on and that vicious dogs are taken out of the general population to protect the other dogs. You cannot blame animal lovers for holding her responsible for what goes on there. They are heartbroken to see this kind of blatant animal abuse go on, year after year, and nothing is done.

I get along with Dr. Bragdon pretty well, although there is not much we agree on. I don't dislike people who don't agree with me. What I don't understand about Dr. Bragdon, and some of her new board members, is that they worry about which rescue group is going to get the "best" dogs, when dogs pour in by the thousands out there.

I would be glad if several other groups came in to rescue, and we never had to go there again. I would not want any dog to stay in that miserable place one second longer than it had to.

In two weeks of rescuing there recently, we got three dogs with heartworms and one that needs extensive eye surgery. We have rescued numerous dogs that were attacked by other dogs. Our vet bills on dogs from RCAC are astronomical. A few months ago, Molly's Militia bought $1,000 worth of supplies and equipment that RCAC needed, when we ourselves were desperate for donations. We have done nothing but help the animals out there ...

My anger is toward the Richmond County commissioners, who couldn't care less about the suffering of the animals at this shelter ...

I just want to say to the author of this one-sided, mean-spirited editorial that it is because of people like you that things never improve at Richmond County Animal Control ...

Elaine van der Linden, Belvedere, S.C. (Editor's note: The writer is the director of Molly's Militia.)