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Sunday, Sep. 25, 2016

November 27, 2011

Posted Monday, November 28, 2011, at 10:42 AM

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. For those of you who participated in one of the shopping orgies on Friday, it is my fervent wish that you survived intact. Also, I hope you got what you were hunting for.

I'm sure millions of turkeys lost their lives this past week. Most of them did not die in vain if they wound up in the hands and ovens of good cooks. It is my assumption that they all died humanely.

We, as a people, can become very passionate about animals. We are particularly emotional about those animals that we commonly or routinely keep as pets such as cats and dogs.

The level of emotion that we have as human beings was on display at our most recent city council meeting. Some local residents have discovered that Malden, as a matter of public policy, routinely kills stray animals by placing them in a gas chamber. These same people find this method horrendous. The method Malden uses complies with the laws of the State of Missouri.

Personally, I am neutral as to how we dispose of stray animals. I do want them disposed of. If there is a better solution than the present one then I am in favor of it. We will have to decide what a "better solution" is. "Better" for me would be a solution that is no more expensive than the method we now use. Hopefully, that "better solution" would include an aggressive program of animal adoption that would be staffed entirely by volunteers. Those same volunteers would be involved not just for the short term but forever and ever amen.

What does not help is demonizing the current situation. If someone refers to the current plan as, "Malden's dirty little secret," it misstates the truth, and angers those who have been dealing with the stray animal problem for years. If statements are made that refer to "them" against "us" then you automatically create opposing sides, and the issue becomes a contest. We, as Americans, love a contest, and we like to win. We like the bragging rights. Missouri 24 and Kansas 10 this past Saturday!

Civic issues shouldn't be treated as an athletic contest or a contest of wills. Surely, we can come together as the body politic and find an acceptable solution to our disposal of unwanted animals.

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