2013-08-22 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I would like to take an opportunity to thank a woman in our city who rarely misses an opportunity to encourage people.

Her name is Jeannie Selling.

Jeannie publicly encourages young actors, and singers in high school dramas, young athletes (whether they had a winning season or not). Just about any event Jeannie attends wherein she is entertained, she is thankful and encouraging. Recently, she publicly thanked her classmates for the wonderful people they are at their 60th class reunion.

This is what I have seen Jeannie do publicly. I can’t imagine the countless words of thankfulness and encouragement she gives daily to those she comes in contact with.

So I want to publicly “thank you, Jeannie” for setting an example to all of us. It takes so little effort to thank and appreciate a store clerk, a carry-out person, a waitress/server, a mail person, doctor, pastor, nurse, etc. – all those people we depend upon for meeting our needs in daily living.

It is my hope and prayer that your encouraging, thankful spirit will spread through our city. I am happy to know you, Jeannie.

Sandi Spettel


To the Editor:

Last week two letters were printed regarding the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter. In one letter, an individual, Mrs. Blanche Hursh- Rasmussen, expressed her negative opinions about her experience at the shelter. Suspecting an irate letter might be written, the response from EBAS co-presidents was a general statement of shelter procedures. However, in light of the many erroneous charges made by Mrs. Hursh-Rasmussen a rebuttal is absolutely necessary.

First of all, Mrs. Hursh- Rasmussen was not told to “get out.” Rather, she was asked to please wait outside with the box of abandoned kittens. The shelter is not equipped with an adequate quarantine area to contain any possible contagion carried by incoming animals. We routinely look at newly arrived animals outside in order to determine if they need immediate veterinary care and to minimize exposure to disease/ infestation in an effort to protect our healthy shelter population.

Secondly, the kittens did not remain in a locked, airless vehicle for hours. Within ten minutes or so after Mrs. Rasmussen-Hursh left, the EBAS shelter manager had arranged to take the kittens to the vet clinic and was on her way. After careful examination, it was determined that the greatly weakened kittens could not thrive and have a quality a life. The last remaining options were compassion and mercy. At no time while at the shelter did Mrs. Hursh-Rasmussen mention that she or husband intended to adopt one of the kittens.

Thirdly, the accusation, “All they care about is money,” is blatantly untrue. EBAS advocates strongly for the stray and abandoned animals of Schoolcraft County that find temporary refuge at the shelter. Sheltering, however, involves expenses – maintenance of the facility, medications/vaccinations, supplies, vet care, modest wages, programs for community pets and more. EBAS is a private, nonprofit 501 C3 organization and as such, relies almost entirely on donations for funding. Our community and our many patrons have always been supportive. EBAS is grateful and appreciative of that commitment.

Lastly, the outrageous statements, “I guess they (kittens) weren’t cute enough and clean enough,” and, “they don’t care about ugly, dirty helpless critters as they claim they do,” couldn’t be farther from the truth! We invite anyone who doubts our work to come in and look at the before/after pictures of some of the animals. We deal with animals suffering from filth, starvation, emaciation, wounds, sores, insect infestations, fear, illness, infections, tumors – you name it and we’ve addressed it. Many of these “ugly and dirty critters” have become awesome and lovely creatures because EBAS cared and acted when no one else did.

The Eva Burrell Animal Shelter has a dedicated staff, caring volunteers and a conscientious board of directors. If you want to advocate for the animals which have no voice, get involved. Learn of the challenges and limitations shelters face. Work with us; not against us. Find a good shelter and get involved. EBAS is that good shelter.

Char Crosby,

EBAS co-president

Dear Editor,

Response to letter re: shelter.

This I know is true, I was there.

A person brought in a cardboard box.

Patti (shelter manager) asked this person to take the box outside and she would be right with the person.

Patti quickly finished with the potential cat adopters and asked me to set up a cage in the quarantine room for the returning kittens.

Patti was gone within 10 minutes.

This I know is true, I was there.

The next day another person came into the shelter (This person had already been swearing and hollering at two people outside, not knowing if they were part of the shelter) and was hollering and swearing, the person would not listen as Patti tried again and again to explain what happened to the kittens and why.

This I know is true, I was there.

I support the shelter manager 100 percent.

Elsa Sjogren Couch


Dear Editor,

I am the co-president of the shelter. If you have an issue with the shelter come and see me there and/or call and I would welcome the opportunity to have a civil conversation directly, or with one of the staff.

Volunteer your time and energy and come work with us each week in your spare time and see firsthand what our shelter is all about. I would be happy to talk about ways to make the shelter better. We are not perfect and daily are faced with tough, stressful decisions – decisions we have to make with great thought and care and for what? About the money? Are you kidding me? We live by minimal donations, operate on very little money, and over 90 percent of the many people who contribute here do not make a dime, but give their personal time and money to provide some quality of life to unwanted pets, in part so they do not wander around aimlessly, potentially causing trouble in various ways in our communities.

We love and care for every animal that comes in here and those that know me, know how true that is. I personally raised a shelter dog for years that I put down this year. They all break my heart and the decision is never made lightly. We place in good homes over 90 percent of our unwanted pets that come into the shelter. We would give anything to have that number be 100 percent. But it is not possible for reasons we have tried to explain in our previous letter to the editor. It is your choice to believe them specifically, or our larger cause in total, or not. We would welcome you to join this noble cause.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support the shelter. It is very sincerely appreciated by the entire staff of the shelter but most importantly, from our unwanted pets, as without your support, there would be no shelter for these animals and their eventual outcomes on much more shaky ground. It’s about the animals, remember.

Victoria George co-president of the EBAS

Dear Editor,

Liberalism runs amok. Lately, we have seen liberals praising the recent Senate decision passing what they call a common-sense approach to illegal immigration. They say it will be beneficial to our farm and rural communities and will benefit our economy, save our taxpayers millions, and do several other wonderful things, as presented by this white house. Really?

It is true we need a good immigration policy to prevent the constant drain on our economy and reduce the inherent security threat that is prevalent but until the Obama administration agrees that border security must be implemented first, then we have really not accomplished anything.

What is really behind their immigration policy? We have seen collusion between the Obama administration and the American Civil Liberties Union as they battled the state of Arizona regarding assistance to its border problem. We have seen administration officials mislead Congress regarding the scope of deportation dismissals in Texas.

Today, it is estimated there are between eight and 14 million illegal aliens here draining our economy and presenting a security threat. The administration continues to fail in protecting our borders but they have been complicit in the effort to undermine our nation’s immigration laws, all in an effort to buy more democratic voters.

According to President Obama, because most illegal aliens are nice people (his estimate) we should overlook the fact they broke the law getting here. And since they cannot be allowed to “game the system”, instead we will change the system to accommodate their law-breaking and give them privileges of legal residency, taxpayer subsidized benefits, and then citizenship.

It has been proven the Obama administration has abandoned deportation proceedings against illegal aliens convicted of serious and sometimes violent crimes. Time and time again we have seen these illegal alien criminals harming American citizens after law-enforcement authorities, following sanctuary policies of this administration, sent them back to the streets.

Moreover, and more significantly, the Obama administration has no idea how dangerous some of these illegal aliens are because, according to recently obtained documentation, the Department of Homeland Security and the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service were ordered to stop doing background checks on illegal aliens late last year, so how does anyone know how bad some of these people really are?

Whatever happens in Congress, we must be prepared to confront Barack Obama’s scheme to enact illegal alien amnesty via executive fiat as he has done unconstitutionally so many times in the past.

This administration is in an allout attack mode to destroy the opposition, as we have recently seen in their abuses directed by the IRS, FEC, SEC, EPA, HHS, DOE and especially now the National Security Administration with their spying and lying program.

They continue to buy votes with their free cell phone giveaways (passing the charges on to working Americans), increasing food stamp giveaways, and other similar actions. They have a completely botched foreign policy system with their handling of the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, their providing illegal weapons to Mexican drug cartels under the Fast and Furious program, and numerous other failed programs.

Please consider these factors when voting in 2014.

Phil Krumm Johannesburg, Mich.

Dear Editor,

The Thompson Veterinary Clinic would like express their continued support of the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter and its volunteers. Schoolcraft County is fortunate to have an animal shelter that is staffed by community members with such strong compassion and commitment to care for the homeless pets in our region. The EBAS strives to maintain the health and welfare of those dogs and cats that enter the shelter to maximize their chances of home placement. In certain circumstances, foster homes have been arranged to care for those dogs and cats with special medical or behavioral needs. The EBAS has also been active in promoting responsible pet care, which has included a low cost spay/neuter program to reduce animal population in our community. EBAS resources, both human and financial, come from the generous charity provided by the community it serves.

The main goal of the EBAS is to use their available resources to provide a safe environment for homeless dogs and cats until they can be adopted. Sadly, some homeless dogs and cats have health problems that make shelter life unsuitable for them. Introduction of infectious disease into the shelter can put all shelter animals at risk for illness and reduce the opportunity for healthy dogs and cats to be adopted. When the EBAS declines to admit ill animals into the shelter, it is because of concerns for the health and welfare of the general shelter animal population. Shelter volunteers take debilitated and ill animals to a veterinarian for evaluation. A determination is made about the cause of the animals’ health problem and prognosis for recovery. Unfortunately, some animals brought to the shelter cannot be rehabilitated, and the shelter has to make a quality of life decision. Euthanasia of a dog or cat under any circumstance is a difficult decision. Shelter staff assume this burden for our community. Shelter volunteers strive to be responsible stewards of the dogs and cats entrusted to them and the resources donated to them by the community.

We at the Thompson Veterinary Clinic urge our community to continue to support the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter. Please consider volunteering your time and skill by fostering those animals that have special needs until they can be re-homed or are healthy enough to enter the shelter environment.


Thompson Vet Clinic Doctors and Staff

Dear Editor,

I am writing to talk about my recent wonderful experience with Eva Burrell Animal Shelter. Last fall, I wrote to the shelter re a dog I saw on Petfinder, an Internet site.

I live below the bridge. The young dog I will call “M” had been abandoned in the woods as a very young puppy. The shelter had taken her in and put her in their wonderful training program in Alger County. I was impressed when my initial inquiry generated a series of questions, and that I was assessed by staff to assure that I could provide a good home. Several emails were exchanged before I was “approved”.

This is how it should be with all shelters. Too many dogs and cats get turned back in, end up on the streets, are mistreated or are put to sleep.

My dog “M” is an incredible dog. I have outlived several generations of mixed breed dogs, and although I loved them all, this young dog, “M”, was the easiest dog I ever I adopted. She is well trained, very gentle, and affectionate. She gets along wonderfully with my other two, somewhat grumpy older dogs. I take my dogs to two different animal hospitals. All three vets who have worked with “M” have been very impressed with her. In fact, one of them is now actively supporting the shelter, and they are working with them to rehabilitate a young dog whose family no longer wanted him. I have and will continue to donate to the shelter and recommend it highly.

Their training program at Alger County is a win/win for both the animals and their trainers. They do exceptionally well with their limited resources.

No doubt the kittens in question could not be kept in the shel - ter, given the need to quarantine to protect against many fatal illnesses in cats and dogs and lack of space. It breaks my heart that the kittens were put to sleep, but I have no doubt the shelter did everything that they possible could with their limited resources and the need to protect the animals they are currently responsible for.

I wish there were funds and homes for all animals senselessly brought into this world by people who do not spay or neuter their animals. I do not have the statistics about what percentage get euthanized, but I know our local shelter in Cheboygan County is forced to destroy hundreds of cats and dogs every year.

Manistique is lucky to have the Eva Burrell Shelter.

Susan Whitener

Indian River, Mich.

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