Our letters section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.

Heartbreak and Humane Society

To the Editors:

We are fortunate to have an animal shelter in our area and appreciate the La Plata County Humane Society’s work. However, we want to alert animal lovers to LPCHS’s current practice regarding Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and FIV, and urge a change in their policy regarding education and testing for these contagious and deadly feline viruses.

We adopted two cats from LPCHS six years ago. After one recently died, we adopted another. When we brought our new kitten to the vet, we found out LPCHS no longer tests for FeLV or FIV, although they used to. Our vet tested our new kitten and two weeks later we learned she is FeLV positive. Although she could develop immunity to the virus and remain healthy for years, she is still “shedding” the virus, which can infect other cats. FeLV positive cats must be kept indoors in single cat households.

Fortunately, we were able to find our kitten a new home, but since our adult cat was exposed to her, he will have to be tested in six months (the virus has a long incubation period). He is vaccinated for FeLV but it’s not 100 percent effective.

This heartbreaking travesty could have been avoided if LPCHS had taken proper steps. Upon adoption, we were not informed about these viruses or what it means that the LPCHS doesn’t test or what one must do when bringing a new cat into a household with another cat (keep them isolated until they are tested).

It is in the best interest of cats and their owners that LPCHS provide education about FeLV and FIV. If they continue to not test for these viruses, they should offer an optional test prior to adoption, especially for those applicants who already have another cat and are willing to pay for the test.

FeLV and FIV positive cats don’t necessarily need to be euthanized, but it’s imperative they don’t have contact with other cats. The LPCHS’s negligence of this issue puts all cats in our county at risk.

– Tracy Korb, Durango

Lessons in Christianity

Dear World,

In the midst of preachers holding good ol’ fashioned book burnings and certain sign-wielding churches, I want to communicate a few things on behalf of my faith as a Christian. I feel, because I call myself a Christian, I am being grossly mislabeled and judged because of the actions of a few “unique” groups who happen to have gained the favor of mass media. First off, book burnings? Really?! Everyone knows that burning books is so 19th century. Maybe instead of burning these books, you could throw them in a giant angry recycling bin. It would be a lot more environmentally conscious, albeit just as ignorant. And I’ve seen some of these infamous protest signs. I honestly don’t see what’s so great about them. The color choices are tacky, the font selection is just so-so, and they are just as ignorant and tasteless as the book-burning clubs. They probably don’t even use recycled paper.

So, to all the people supporting these acts of hatred under then name of Christianity, I’d like to remind you of what your Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16, “Do everything with love.” If you’re confused with what love is, and you think love has something to do with condemning anyone who doesn’t go to your backwards church in Topeka, Kan., turn back a few pages to 1 Corinthians 13, which gives this definition of love, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” Paul the Apostle precedes that definition with this poignant remark, “If I could speak all languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” This is in your Bible folks, same as mine. “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good (Romans 12:9).”

And to all those who aren’t Christians … please don’t judge Christianity based on the actions of Christians. You would think that would be the best way to get a good picture of Christianity, but, as it turns out, most Christians are people, and all people have the tendency to make mistakes. If you want to make an educated, informed opinion about Christianity, find a Bible, crack it open to the New Testament and read it for yourself. Chances are you’ll have read more of the Bible than most of the misguided crowd in line to sign up for the next book-burning party.

– Sincerely a believer, Clint Reid, via e-mail

P.S. Don’t forget to recycle.

The litter/loiter crew

To the Editors,

The Durango Recreation Center is a wonderful place in our community, but they are making a big mistake by allowing people, mostly homeless and vagrant teens, to loiter at the back NE corner by the river trail. Daily, I pass this spot while walking my dog, and I see people smoking, eating fast food, and drinking out of plastic cups. They gather around the boulders and big pine tree on the Rec Center property. When they are gone, in their place is a pile of trash from cigarette butts and cartons, condom wrappers, bags, cups, baggies, candy wrappers, clothes and lots of plastic. Quickly this mess makes its way across the paved walking trail and down the hillside, where it flows over the train tracks and into the river.

I’ve spent the last year walking into the Rec Center with bags of trash that I’ve picked up from this area and have asked them to please place a garbage can by the tree. This they did, only for it to be pushed down the hillside toward the tracks by the people who loiter there. Myself and others have tried to talk to the kids and have even picked up their trash right in front of them. Yet they still continue to vandalize the rocks, the land, and completely disrespect this spot. This is surely one of the most polluted sections of the river trail on the 32nd St. bridge side. Management from the Rec Center has not held these people accountable for their actions in any way, shape or form. It’s obvious that the litter/loiter crew is not going to change their ways. This has gone on long enough and as a concerned citizen who lives right around the corner, I’m sick of dealing with it alone and I’m asking for the community to help hold the Rec Center and those who are littering in this area accountable for their actions. I love this beautiful town and river and will do all I can to help keep it clean and safe.  

– Sincerely, Charlene Love, via e-mail

Common-sense government

To the Editors:

As an unaffiliated voter, I will be voting for a candidate from each party for the state Legislature this year. The first is Brian O’Donnell for the House. O’Donnell is a fellow sportsman who will protect our Second Amendment rights and our backcountry, streams and wildlife, which are so important to hunters and anglers. He is also the most level-headed person in the race who can make government work for us. My other vote will be for Ellen Roberts for the Senate. Roberts has served us well in her current position in the House, where for instance she reached across the aisle to successfully sponsor a bill promoting green energy jobs while curbing coal pollution. Vote for O’Donnell and Roberts to have two independent, common-sense voices in government.

– Matt Kenna, Durango