401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Neglected dogs/cats don't help attract jobs

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Dear Editor:

I was speaking recently with some friends who are involved with Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter (CAWS) and they told me that the shelter in Delta, set up and managed by dedicated volunteers and employees in the face of overwhelming and heartbreaking conditions, is facing a serious funding shortfall. It seems that Delta likes to use their services to deal with their big problem of unwanted dogs and cats, but refuses to allocate enough money for the shelter to operate.

At the same time I have noticed, reading the DCI, articles mentioning how Delta and Cedaredge have for years been funnelling apparently public money into their insolvent golf courses in a desperate-looking attempt to attract the type of people they think would be conducive to economic development.

I would suggest that one factor NOT conducive to attracting people likely to contribute to economic development is the gross animal neglect and overpopulation common in Delta County. Traveling around the area, it is not particularly unusual to notice unsavory sights like dogs chained or in filthy pens 24/7, given little or no attention and barking hysterically for hours on end from frustration, often with inadequate or even no shelter, frozen water in winter or no water in summer heat. I have also encountered a lot of resistance to spaying or neutering dogs and cats, even in cases where the offspring would be unwanted, either because of laziness or a misguided macho feeling, not necessarily because of lack of money (CAWS and other organizations offer vouchers for financial assistance). There is also much neglect of horses and other animals. Many people who might want to do business in this area find all this a big turnoff.

I think people in Delta County who are interested in economic development would do well to re-examine some of the priorities around here. It could be a much more attractive place to live if they did.

Shari Dangremond
Paonia

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