Letters

Editor's Note

A remarkable number of our readers thought we had lost our minds with "The Fido Solution," our package of stories in the February 3 edition concerning animal overpopulation. One reader said Richard Connelly, author of the main story, was "insensitive and barbaric." Another vowed to "call law enforcement" if she spotted the "moron" who wrote the accompanying story about shooting cats. But a few readers did understand what we tried to do and applauded us for rejecting platitudes and instead calling for something to really happen about the problem. Representative ex-cerpts of the letters we received appear on our Letters page today.

Raining Cats and Dogs

Searching for Mouse: How dare you so irresponsibly promote the torture of cats and dogs? I have been a longtime Houston Press reader, but that crossed a line I cannot tolerate.

All of the organizations working to protect animals in this city do the best they can. If they are unable to help a significant number of animals, it is because of human behavior that results in animal overpopulation and strays.

I live in the Heights and am going to be on the lookout for this moron ["Cats: That Other White Meat," by Anon E. Mouse]. I hope I get the opportunity to call law enforcement.

Kim Willis
Houston

Fair play for felines: It was a great issue. The best. You gave cats and dogs equal time (I suspect the content of the cat story will draw the most flak). And now I know why that Hand Center doctor has not updated his spots ["Taking His Medicine," by Craig Malisow, February 3].

Barbara Shaidnagle
Houston

Best use yet for Radar: It's refreshing to hear an actual new idea for a change.

The most disturbing thing about your article? You didn't even mention what to do with all that leftover fur! The next-door neighbor's dog that keeps you up every night would make a fine shirt, hat or -- better yet -- a blanket to help you catch up on all the sleep he made you miss.

A yard or two of Siberian husky fur would be excellent for a tasteful, but not too pretentious, coat. Of course, it would take quite a few Pomeranian or pug pelts to assemble a nice outfit, so it'll cost you a little more.

The homeless could be wrapped in inexpensive blankets made from Great Danes and Saint Bernards. Rich River Oaks wives wouldn't be caught dead in anything other than the finest teacup poodle or Yorkie. Trendy yet rebellious gothic club kids would sport Doberman or rottweiler ensembles.

Frank Billingsley (KPRC) could have that annoying dog Radar made into a pair of pajamas, and we could finally be spared from seeing that pathetic act for good!

Name withheld by request
Houston

Apologies, please: Your recent issue about animals was both offensive and immature. I volunteer for an animal rescue group, and I do not find shooting animals with BB guns or recipes featuring dog meat the least bit funny.

The author was practically bragging about the harm he did to cats as a child! Do you realize, or even care, that children who harm or kill animals often grow up to commit murder?

I feel an apology is in order, and also an article about spaying and neutering to reduce animal overpopulation.

Lynn Barton
Houston

Getting it: The article is gutsy and dead on. Jonathan Swift would be proud. The recipes at the end were the perfect touch ["Canine Cuisine," by Robb Walsh]. Be warned however, that Swift's Modest Proposal basically received three types of responses from his readers. The first group "got it" and praised him for his sharp irony that so brought a tragic reality into focus.

The second group (God bless them) attacked him for his heartlessness and lack of humanity (just insert Emily Litella here).

The third group, and this gets scary, not only praised his innovative ideas, but asked where they might be able to invest in such a business venture.

I'm curious to see what kind of responses you guys get. After all, this is Texas. By the way, people, for God's sake, spay and neuter your damn pets!

Juli Kring
Houston

Baby backs? How sick. What's next week, how to cook a baby? Hope that reporter doesn't live in my neighborhood.

Beverly Hensley
Houston

Do what we can: The piece is cleverly written. Indeed, it is too clever by half. Unlike Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal, which Rich Connelly obviously (and avowedly) imitates, his piece lacks the ironic consistency to convey a clear point of view.

In fact, spaying and neutering can significantly reduce the stray and feral animal population, especially if carried out under the guidance of an organization like Alley Cat Allies (alleycat.org).

It is better to kill them than to let them starve, but affirming that their lives have value and adapting to their needs is entirely possible.

Dennis Vail
Beaumont

Euthanize the abusers: I can't believe you would print this. Recipes for dog? I am a huge animal lover, a citizen who does all I can to help strays. I have never found strays to be a nuisance, but people who abandon them are another story. I would rather see these assholes who neglect, dump and abuse animals euthanized.

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