This letter is from a journalist in Tempe, Az. who disagrees with Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley's decision to release animals into the woods.
As a responsible journalist from Phoenix, I called the Daily Leader to verify details floating around the internet about Mayor James Valley’s order to release the city’s stray dogs into the forest. I was stunned and dismayed to learn it was true. What kind of civilized city displays such barbaric treatment to homeless animals? Most cities and states have laws regarding dogs at large. Evidently that’s not the case in Helena because in a telephone conversation today the mayor said he had no plans to perform animal control in Helena, despite a half million dollar reserve fund that’s available.
Animal control not only benefits lost and frightened stray dogs but it’s a public health benefit too. Stray dogs sometimes cause car accidents. Once in a while they bite small children or other people’s pets. Foraging for food they can become a nuissance. Animal control officers perform a valuable community service. It’s regrettable that Mayor Valley summarily decided his constituents don’t need animal control.
The late Ghandi said the greatness of a nation depends on the way it treats their animals. Under Mr. Valley, the city of Helena can never be great.
Debra J. White