Regarding the July 21 article, "Lost in Katrina and in new homes – whose pet now?": It's wonderful so many humans took in the pets left behind after Katrina. Yes, measures were taken to find their human families, but many didn't have access to those measures and so the pets were put up for adoption.
But in doing so the ASPCA groups erred. In my opinion the situation should have been a "foster home" agreement as the pets were not adoptable, as seen now by the many people attempting to locate their beloved pets.
The humans who loved and lived with these pets before Katrina lost most everything. Material items can be replaced, but not so their pets who filled their lives and hearts with love and devotion for so long.
I fostered a 7-year-old cat that no one wanted from a local pet group a few years back. I knew she might leave me, but also knew her real family might change their mind and want her back. My realization of the difference between fostering and adoption has rewarded us both. I hope those people who are fostering Katrina pets will do the right thing for the humans who miss their beloved pets and for the pets themselves.
Being trained by the Humane Society in disaster animal rescue training and large animal rescue training, the question should be not about reuniting the animals to the people who abandoned them; rather, whether or not to prosecute the thoughtless people who were responsible for the care of their animals and left them behind.
It is more of a question of animal abuse/cruelty or gross indifference. If they left the animals, they also left their rights to have the animals. If the argument is raised that the animals are "family members" and not "property," how would those same abandoned children be returned to their family members?
Regarding your July 19 editorial, "The rise of women as church leaders": I am an ABC Baptist lay-leader. I believe that women in ministry are needed – but not because of the reasons you cite. The statistics that I read state that there is a declining number of young men entering into ministry. I know of churches that only have an ordained minister preside over their worship service once in every three or four weeks. During the rest of the weeks, the worship service is either conducted by an untrained layperson, or alternatively the congregation is required to travel to the next church-of-the-week hosting that pastor. I believe a trained, ordained woman pastor is the better solution.
Regarding Seth Shtier's July 24 Opinion piece, "Conservationalists: Celebrate, don't just worry about, the environment": As a fellow environmentalist, I commend teachers like Mr. Shteir who pass on their love of nature. Another way to promote stewardship of the earth is by "green giving" – gifts that also help the environment. For her birthday, I gave my friend Vivian a set of six compact fluorescent light bulbs. I told her that if every US household replaced one regular bulb with a compact fluorescent, we'd reduce global warming pollution by over 90 billion pounds over the life of the bulbs. Vivian was delighted with this gift.
For friends with a barren backyard, gift- givers might buy a tree and plant it properly. Their friends will enjoy the shade, and the tree will extract carbon dioxide from the air.
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