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Articles Archive—12/99

  |   Support for a Commemorative Spay/Neuter Stamp   |   Justice for a Dead Kitten Named Zoey   |   

Support for a Commemorative Spay/Neuter Stamp

Just itchin’ to write a letter? Here’s one that will make a difference to a lot of animals...

 
William J. Henderson, Postmaster General
Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 4474E
Washington, DC 20260-2437

Dear Mr. Henderson:

I am writing to express my support for a commemorative postal stamp that would advocate the spaying/neutering of companion animals. Your stamp selection criteria state that, in order to be approved for commemoration, stamps must feature primarily American or American-related subjects. Pet overpopulation is, unfortunately, an American fact of life. Millions of healthy dogs and cats are euthanized each year in our nation’s animal shelters because there are not a sufficient number of good homes.

Another criterion for commemoration is that the featured theme be of broad national interest. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. households own a dog and 31 percent own a cat. Moreover, recognition of the problem of pet overpopulation-and spay/neuter as its solution-is spreading across the country. To date seven states (Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Texas, and Maryland) have legislated “animal friendly” vanity plates to subsidize companion animal spay and neuters.

A U.S. postal stamp urging Americans to spay and neuter their companion animals would be a powerful tool in alleviating the needless animal suffering, taxpayer cost, and public nuisance of surplus companion animals. Executed with the appropriate artwork, this stamp would have broad appeal across many age groups of the American public and be a bestseller among philatelists and animal lovers alike.

I understand that the Committee currently is considering stamps for the year 2000 and beyond and hope that the “spay/neuter” stamp will be a candidate for future commemoration.

Sincerely,

(please sign your full name and address)

Justice for a Dead Kitten Named Zoey

by Janet Ashman, 12/13/99

Early last month there was a fatal mix of 60-some guests and alcohol in an Iowa City apartment rented by college students. An unidentified young person (statistically speaking, a male) made the choice to mutilate and kill a kitten named Zoey, leaving her broken, bloodied body in the bathroom for all to see.

He’s pretty much gotten away with it, because nobody’s talking. How could it be that no one heard Zoey’s cries or saw anything unusual? Peer group pressure? Inebriation? Fear of retribution? Or, is what this person did to Zoey somehow “excusable” according to our community standards?

Think about the type of person who makes these kinds of choices, takes these kinds of risks, and why. Cruelty to animals, child abuse, and domestic violence are interrelated crimes-symptomatic of disturbed individuals and dysfunctional families. They are also predictors of repetitive violence that often escalates in range and severity. When animals are abused, people are at risk.

What happens next, when one of this guy’s partners says “No, I don’t want to have sex with you tonight.” Or when one of his supervisor’s says “No, do it this way.”Or later, when one of his toddlers howls “No, I don’t wanna take a nap.”

Zoey’s dead. And another case of animal abuse in Iowa is “toast”until someone does the right thing. The Johnson County Humane Society is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Zoey’s mutilation and death. Call the Iowa City Police Department at 356-5275 with information or leave a message on the Johnson County Humane Society’s HelpLine at 338-3357.

Somebody needs to come forward and say, “I know something about what happened at that party. In no way is what this person did to Zoey OK.”


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