To the Editor:

You have now entered the “No Spin Zone”.  I would like to respond to the incorrect statements by the Mayor two weeks ago.  The ‘leaps and bounds” improvements to animal control means nothing if the city does not spay and neuter the animals leaving the pound.  You will just get more animals to use these “improvements”.  The cities and towns around the state have the luxury of rescue organizations and most likely a paid staff to make it all work.  As I said, it takes an army to accomplish what you say you want to do and that is spay/neuter before the animals leave the pound, which by the way, has already failed.  You are still releasing them without spay/neuter and NO FOLLOWUP to make sure as the law states that they must be spayed and neutered! It would be nice if committed people would volunteer and help bring about the new ordinance. The animal control officer is a good person and wants the best for the animals, but even he knows this will not work with only one person trying to do all the work so he is leaving his position in June.  There has been a proposed budgeted pay raise for animal control so maybe he will change his mind? If he does leave, I do hope the city will finally have a job description and policies and procedures available to the new person as the last four animal control officers that I know of did not have one.  The round-up by animal control of 19 abandoned dogs was a good example of “no training”.  Also, Madame Mayor, if you foster animals, those animals should be fixed and shots as to not cause a liability to the city. This is an FYI. It seems I have given the city a lot of those.  The website and the newspaper information is irresponsible because there is no mention of mandated spay/neuter so the people adopting have no clue that this will be their responsibility.  Another spin:  I wrote the Mayor two lengthy letters, none of which she responded to. I had to call her to get feedback which led to the two phone hang-ups. I would like to thank Mr. Odgers for his letter; he is the only city official that has responded.  If you feel that I am” complaining” which according to Webster’s dictionary means to express “dissatisfaction”, “pain”, then that is what I am doing.  It causes me great pain to think that all the efforts The Zoo and a handful of other animal supporters have worked so hard for and that is trying to stop the neglect and abuse that goes with unwanted animals by spaying and neutering, is being unraveled because for two years now the city has been negligent of its duties and it won’t take very long to totally undue all that has been realized. Your spinning makes everyone think all is well when it is not. It downplays the urgency of this really horrible problem. This issue of non-compliance has gone thru five city council liaisons in the last two years. The Mayor and Mr. Odgers both said that “Governmental changes moves slow”.  When he was first elected, Bruce Setterstrom asked The Zoo to take 19 abandoned dogs and we did. Shortly after that I asked Bruce Setterstrom if I could meet with him to talk about the Zoo’s role in this community, he said OK as long as you don’t bring up any history?  Then having known we got off to a bad start, I offered the olive branch and asked if we could start over, he simply said “we’ll see”. That meeting never happened. Then it was passed to Marty Westland, he promptly gave up that position and it went to Randy Lee.  He was always very cordial, but he didn’t stay long.  Then it went to the Mayor who without any experience (none of them for that matter) came up with the current new ordinance and now the job is in the hands of Tammy Calgren whom I have not talked with except at one city council meeting where she had to seek a look of approval from the mayor each time.  The mayor said the city will continue to make improvements and give a second chance to unwanted animals.  Madame Mayor, just do your job please, follow the law and maybe, just maybe there won’t be any more unwanted animals.

Respectfully submitted,

Brenda Alexander,

The Zoo, Inc.