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Letter: Rosemount has turned its backs on cats

To the editor,

"One can measure the greatness and the moral progress of a nation by looking at how it treats its animals." Mahatma Gandhi

I am a recent graduate of Rosemount High School and currently a student at the University of St. Catherine, a university I chose because I support their focus on social justice. I have been a part-time kennel worker at Shamrock Animal Hospital for a couple years, a job I chose primarily because the owner runs a non-kill animal shelter.

I just read in the newspapers that our city created a new law that is a disadvantage for cats and kittens. Since it costs us residents (I am a taxpayer, too) about $1,000 a month to bring cats to the shelter, this law cuts city expenses. As a kennel worker, I work for low wages caring for these animals, but after the necessary part of my job is done, I work unpaid with both cats and dogs who could use extra help. Volunteering, I bathe and brush them so they are attractive to potential adopters. Playing with them gives them a happy disposition, replacing fear of a new environment and human contact. I help these animals because I appreciate them all and hope they find happier homes than they had the first time.

Although Rosemount is following some other cities in not impounding cats, this city should be the one that develops wiser approaches because we have the most skilled place to do it. Cat impoundment is best for both humans and animals. What matters is that the city of Rosemount acts ethically. Allowing cats to be sick, starving and killed just because other cities do it is not a city who leads ethically. Rosemount used to be an example of how we care for our own.

The city claims that other animal shelters will take Rosemount's cats, but most of the time there is simply no room and they are killed.

This winter, a cat was found under a dumpster, frozen to the ground for a few days when he couldn't find any other spot to sleep for the night. The people who found him had heard him crying and finally figured out where he was. They brought him to Shamrock and with care, he survived with only his tail amputated. He loves people and found a new home. At another place, he would have been put down straight away. Please let other cats have this chance.

The wonderful thing about having a pound shelter in a veterinary hospital is that the animals receive superb and almost instant attention for injuries, parasites and feline-leukemia testing. As a clinic and pound with fewer animals than a humane society, there is more devotion to the individual animal and his or her care. The staff is available and cares deeply about each animal's well-being, spending precious time going out of their way to find the animal a home.

This is the type of caring that depicts a great society.

Jill Judy,