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Letter to the Editor

December 25, 2009
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

So Whylie the banned SENIOR German Shepherd from Conrad now faces death as they lost the appeal challenging the legality of his being banned in the town he has lived in for years. Mayor Sharp and his cronies on the city council and the city attorney really stuck it to Whylie's owners. I sure wonder if it had to do with them not being home town born and raised folks, or that they live in a trailer park, not wealthy, or due to the breed of dog? Do you really think if it had been one of Mayor Sharps good old buddy's foofoo dogs, on the right side of the tracks, this would have been handled exactly the same way? Never!

This dog did not even break the skin, FIRST offense, not second, since when do you change your own city code in a split second? Towns that don't have animal control need to seek educated, animal people when they establish their codes/ordinances and when an animal issue comes up. So much of this has to do with fear and ignorance, neither makes for good government, nor rational thinking. Then throw in a bully, arrogant judge whom appears to have his mind made up before an owner of a pet steps into the courtroom, it's no surprise this turned out as it did. He needs to put on his listening ears as Judge Judy would say! This is the same, rude judge that slapped an excessive fine on the owners of one of the most well behaved dogs in Reinbeck after an over zealous cop allowed his ego to get the best of him and ticketed them for their dog running at large. Their dog was 100% under voice control next to the owner. Why did these people get targeted in the first place? Because a pal of a pal got turned in for neglecting his Golden Retriever (as he should have), so retaliation appears to have taken place, gee, don't you just love small town cliques and mentality at times.

I suggest writing the bar association on the questionable unprofessional, disrespectful behavior by this judge, these are pet owners attempting to protect their rights and their pets, they're not rapist and murderers. Arrogance and ignorance is a bad combination with those that hold some power.

I've operated a Pet Rescue/Foster for over 20 years, nearly 1000 pets have come and stayed with us. We've had every breed and temperament, been bit numerous times, it's even broke the skin. I have never felt I needed to run to the Dr. My kids have been bit, nipped, scratched, knocked down by our own pets and others, and no trip to the Dr. was ever needed as no stitches were needed. And no pets were shot, euthanized nor did we dump our own pets because they weren't perfect. It's called being realistic, rational and committed. 99.9% of the time when this happens with animals it's human error and all avoidable.

Whylie is a family pet, a very ill man's companion, he's had several rabies vaccinations over the years, he's not some stray, crazy acting dog or wild animal, this dog was protecting his territory, that's what they do. No one was severely injured, instead bruised and scrapped, not horribly maimed and not attacked! I am not condoning a pet biting, I am saying be rational/realistic in your decision on how you handle it. As humans the mammal we need to fear the most is another human, not a dog.

And please, no rhetoric about how it could have been a child etc., etc., etc., we share the Earth with animals, and when we start eliminating every animal that we fear or annoys us or attempts to protect it's territory, pretty soon they'll be extinct and then what next, humans eliminating annoying humans? Wow, this will be an empty planet in short order.

All the neglected, abandoned, abused dogs, those tied and stuck in kennels with frozen, filthy water, lack of food and proper shelter, freezing or overheating to death out in the elements, just waiting for someone to come and help/save them and you pick on these people whom take good care of their pets? How many chances do these lousy, neglectful pet owners get, endless chances, a cop talks to them and they let them get by with this crap daily. It's disheartening.

This all goes to show that Scrooges are with us all year long not only at Christmas and some of them sit behind benches, wear badges and are on city councils.

Martin Luther King Jr. quote describes it best, "The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people."

I hope 2010 brings less ignorance and more common sense and a whole lot more compassion and respect for our friends the animals. Here's a New Year Resolution-is your dog living on a chain or stuck in a kennel? If you are too busy, too lazy, or just don't care to offer it a life, get it to someone that can help, and then please do not get another pet until you have the time to spend everyday with it. To force a dog to live this way is beyond neglect, it is inhumane. Remember, they didn't pick you because if they could have they wouldn't have.

P.S. I would like to give the 2009 Douche Bag Award to the "Mighty Hunter" that killed the mountain lion hanging out in the tree minding his own business.

Spay and Neuter, Be Part of the Solution Not the Problem" And if you see an animal in need, HELP IT!

Diann Helmers

Reinbeck, IA



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