LETTER 1 – An Awesome Exodus of Tree Frogs
T he Grey Tree Frog (In Praise of Amphibians, Summer ActionLine, 2008) caught my attention. I own three acres of woods , and -- unfortunately for me, but good for the frogs -- the back woods are under water for a couple of months during the Spring most years. Around the end of May or the first week in June is a mass exodus of tiny tree frogs leaving the last bit of dampness of the woods and heading towards my house. I call it the march of the babies. There are literally thousands and thousands of them. If you walk out and stand at the edge of the flower garden that crosses the back lawn, you can HEAR them. The most awesome thing is to stand in the woods and watch the entire ground moving - actually hopping over your feet.
In the Spring the chorus of the frogs is so loud I hear them in the house and people hear them when I talk on the phone. I am thankful to have my small patch of woods and see that nature is still all around me from the pileated woodpeckers, to the box turtle that uses the bird bath as his own personal pond.
Hanover , Virginia
LETTER 2 – No-Kill Shelters Hit the Target
I must take issue with the letter writer who was so critical of no-kill shelters in the Summer 2008, issue of ActionLine.
The writer completely fails to understand that the service provided by no-kill sanctuaries is complementary to traditional shelters and is not intended as a replacement for services already provided by those shelters. Most no-kill shelters are private organizations staffed by volunteers, not paid employees, and most of these people would never agree to be part of the work in shelters where animals are being euthanized. Therefore, there are hundreds of no-kill shelters throughout the U.S. with thousands of volunteers housing and helping to place tens of thousands of animals who would otherwise be putting an even greater burden of responsibility on the traditional shelters than those shelters currently endure!
The reason that no-kill shelters can't accept every animal brought to them is that they are in the business of finding homes for the animals in their care. If they were to allow their facilities to be clogged with unadoptable animals they would soon all have to shut down for lack of animals that anyone would agree to take in.
There is a place and purpose for both types of shelters. To criticize the no-kill variety because it has the option of turning away some animals is simply to be ignorant of the role that those shelters play in the overall control and placement of domestic animals.
Gary Del Mastro
LETTER 3 - Greed Versus Free-Living Animals
I receive ActionLine and enjoy reading it but the stories make me increasingly concerned about the existence of wildlife in what we may call “civilized countries.” We are destroying what is essential to the balanced survival of our planet.
The wolves, for instance, are hunted down and shot mercilessly. In Nevada the wild horses are being rounded up and killed because the state claims there is a scarcity of food on the range. Some will be adopted but most will be shot or brought to slaughterhouses. I have had horses for 30 years and know for a fact that no vet wants to come close to these frightened, wild horses to administer the lethal injection.
This is all because of one thing: ranchers bring their cattle to graze on federal land where the wild horses roam. I once had a ranch owner state to me, “Any wild horse grazing near cattle is to be shot on sight.”
It is a sickening situation which sadly enough may end with the extinction of the wild horse, as it happened for the Mexican wolf. And why? Quite simply, because of ranchers who claim heavy losses. But as everyone knows, when money talks any kind of intelligent reasoning disappears.
Annick C. Milligan
Palm Desert , California