letters 

Palestinians Are to Blame

This is in response to recent letters about Liz Spikol's article in the April 24 issue. Raphael Seligman displayed ignorance [in his letter]. The Palestinians have been offered their state countless times. They have refused. Israel offered to withdraw totally from the West Bank and Gaza and recognize a Palestinian state. Their leadership refused. Instead, they instigated the current intifada, which has cost thousands of lives and reduced Palestinian existence to a miserable level.

The Palestinian people may be beginning to realize that their leadership has brought them death and destruction, and morally worse, death and destruction to the children and civilians of Israel, who have begged the Palestinians for peace.

Robert Flax



Assembly Ignores Shelters' Problems

I read your article "Cat House" in the May 29 issue with both extreme hope and sadness. Working independently with friends involved in animal rescue, I have come to know many of the dedicated individuals who devote countless hours and dollars of their own to this vital mission to save these helpless creatures from the hell we have created for them. I find it extremely ironic that the General Assembly wants to monitor these individuals while allowing countless local government animal shelters to operate in appalling conditions.

Recently I went to the Chesterfield Animal Shelter to adopt a dog that fit the description of one I was trying to find for a friend. I was told that the dog was extremely depressed and needed to be rescued from the shelter. The dog appeared to me to be quite sick. A volunteer at the shelter confirmed that this was so, but warned me that if I told the shelter workers, even though I was on my way to the emergency vet with the dog, they would not let me adopt, but would instead destroy the animal. Paying my fee, I did not mention my observation as to the dog's health, and with only a brief examination of my drivers' license and a check, walked out with the dog.

Every rescue group I have observed carefully screens those wishing to adopt, but the shelter seemed to have no interest as to why I wanted to take this dog. This animal is now doing well, but left the shelter with a temperature of 106 degrees and pneumonia (only one lung was functioning). To provide the care needed to restore the dog to health cost almost $1,000, a price I was willing to pay, but the shelter would not even give me the chance to make this choice.

This is not the only case I could cite of animals needing acute medical attention and being ignored by the shelter until they not only died in their cages, but also infected other animals housed with them. How dare the representatives of the people of the state of Virginia question the qualifications of a group of citizens working to counter the abuses of the system the state in turn supports!

Pat Brown



CARE Is for Adult Cats

What a wonderful article Tyler Scott wrote about foster care of homeless animals. I am a foster parent for CARE (Cat Adoption & Rescue Efforts) and would like to make a correction in an implied fact stated. The article says "CARE ... has helped 500 older cats be adopted since CARE's debut in September." In reality, CARE specializes in the adoption of adult (not "older") cats. Adult cats can range in age from 1 to 20, with most being between 1 and 4. However, at all times, CARE has some teens and some kittens available. We do take in many felines which other groups refuse to take because of severe illness, injury, advanced age, or major problems. So, please, all you public citizens, contact us about becoming a foster parent or to adopt a wonderful feline of any age: (804) 288-9797 or www.care-cats.org.

Helen McIver





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