Letters to the editor for September 5, 2007:

Dear Editor,

The below was written by Sara Shirley at the Shelby Humane Society. When I read this I cried because it made me think about the over population of animals and how bad some of the animals suffer because of us. Please share this with other Shelby County residents.

I am NOT your Animal Control Officer; you are!

I&8217;m not the one who allows your pets to breed, then dumps the unwanted puppies and kittens on roadsides and in shelters.

You want to condemn me for actions of others.

You call me a murderer of precious lives.

You will not support me financially because we must euthanize simply because we don&8217;t have enough room.

I did not create the situation; I am doing the only thing that can be done because of irresponsible people.

I didn&8217;t dump the litter of puppies in a shelter and walk away.

I didn&8217;t dump the adult animal in a shelter or on the side of the road and drive off while the frightened animal watches you leave, wondering what he did to deserve this.

He watches every car that drives up thinking it is you coming back for him but you never do.

He is so sorry he chewed up that pair of shoes and dug that hole in the yard but he didn&8217;t know it was wrong, you never taught him.

I am certainly not the one that breeds and fights dogs in the name of &8220;sport&8221; but I am the one that cares for the injured and dying and provides a comfortable ending. I am the one that comforts the injured and ignores the smell of rotting flesh because you placed a chain on his neck when he was a puppy and never again checked it. He finally breaks the chain and goes next door for food and water only to be brought to me.

You never even bother to check on him, how many months did he suffer. Long enough for his flesh to grow around the chain and for other dogs to attack him and he couldn&8217;t even get away.

What about your family&8217;s pet that was hit by a car, accidents happen. Allowing her to lay in the sun for 3 days before bringing her to me is criminal and heartless.

I could smell the stench well before I got to her, her leg so badly damaged and rotted that it had to be amputated.

Not that you care but she is doing okay, I think she will eventually make a full recovery.

I am the one that listens to you say, &8220;My puppies are cute, they will be adopted,&8221; perhaps, if they stay healthy enough but do you ever consider those animals that must die because yours are cute? Thank God the human race does not work that way, how many of us would die an early death simply because we&8217;re not the cutest?

Do you know how many of my tears drip down onto the face of the animal you brought to me as I say a prayer and watch the light leave his eyes and often he licks my face or hand just before relaxing.

People say I&8217;m a murderer, perhaps I am.

I do know this, every single animal that must be euthanized whether they have ever known kindness in their life or not, they know it the last few days of their lives.

They have a safe place to rest, good food, fresh water and kind hands … and a tearful goodbye from me.

So how can you be critical of me, you created me.

Where would we be without people like me?

Respect anyone working in animal welfare; we are the product of irresponsible pet owners.

Laura Wilson

Birmingha