A problem overlooked
It is something that has seemingly gone by the wayside and has little attention paid to it.
But, it is something that needs addressing and needs addressing by the entire community of Rutherford County.
It is the situation of pets.
Daily Courier columnist Stephanie Janard wrote a compelling piece about animal shelters, the Rutherford County Humane Society and pets in Saturday's issue.
But, we want to try to look at things a little differently.
We can use this space to pine and beg for funding for a new shelter, a no-kill shelter, or additional space for pets that are abandoned by their owners for whatever reason.
However, this issue goes well beyond space needs and politics.
To us, it is about education.
Most people get overwhelmed with their pets, can't take care of them, and pass them off to either the Humane Society or Community Pet Center in Rutherford County.
They do that with the expectation that there will be an immediate adoption of their animal, not knowing that there are time limits to just how long those pets can say in a shelter.
Here is where the education comes into play.
Spaying or neutering pets is the most simple way to reduce the population issue that communities like Rutherford County and others in the United States face each and every day.
This will help reduce the number of pets that end up in a shelter or, even worse, discarded by an owner only to be hit by a vehicle, attacked by another animal or being diseased.
There are millions of dollars spent each year to care for lost, abandoned and unwanted pets and millions more to destroy pets that, unfortunately, don't have homes to go. Others, that aren't destroyed, can be susceptible to injury, poisoning, exposure, starvation and even death.
A significant amount of these unwanted pets come from un-spayed or un-neutered pets.
Other benefits to have your pet spayed or neutered include: elimination of the "heat" cycle; ending crying and nervous pacing; reduction in roaming; stops "marking" or spraying, and; promotes longevity.
According to Lynne Faltraco, with the Community Pet Center, most pets can be spayed or neutered when they are between 2-5 months old. She said that it is best to check with your veterinarian to determine the best time to have the operation done.
But, the bottom line is that by spaying or neutering pets, we reduce the capacity on our current facilities in Rutherford County and reduce the amount of pet deaths that occur.
It is a question of education and we believe that the best approach is to make sure that your pet is spayed or neutered.
For more information on spaying or neutering your pets, call the Community Pet Center at 828-287-7738.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark