Letters for Thursday, February 8, 2007

• Kaua‘i behind

• In need of attention

• Public service motivates this state employee

• Reduce, reuse, recycle

• Peri-anesthesia nurses unite

Kaua‘i behind

I think what is occurring with the rescued abused (and dead) dogs is a complete travesty of justice. The Kaua‘i Humane Society should be granted custody of the dogs and the owner should pay the humane society for all costs related to caring for the dogs. My support is behind the humane society staff and volunteers and my heart is broken for them and those poor dogs who deserve to be treated with love and excellent care. This case shows the nation and other communities how behind Kaua‘i is in supporting ethical treatment of animals. I am not opposed to hunting or the abilities dogs bring to the sport, but I am opposed to cruel treatment of any animal. I hope laws and decisions made regarding animals will be improved significantly and quickly for the dogs in question and the many others out there who still need help.

Lori Erichsen


In need of attention

I am appalled as I follow the story of the dogs that were so severely neglected and abused on this island. Not only was it horrific enough to see the condition of the dogs when they were removed from the owner (the pictures caused weeping in my household due to the sadness for the dogs), but even the consideration of allowing the perpetrator to have further contact with those emaciated dogs is unbelievable. The only ones he should be able to have contact with are the corpses of the ones he allowed to die at the end of a chain in a kennel without food or water.

In 1874 our country did not have child abuse protection laws. But we did have the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It was the laws of the ASPCA that provided a foundation for our original child abuse laws. The laws protecting our animals are laws that have guided our protection of our own humanity. What is happening to that tender-hearted humanity that would knowingly even consider returning these dogs to their abusive owner? There is no excuse that I can think of that would make it legitimate for this man’s treatment of “his” dogs: not sickness, mental illness, absence — nothing short of death. “Cruelty must be whitewashed by a moral excuse, and pretense of reluctance,” in the words of George Bernard Shaw. For the owner to claim that someone else was supposed to care for them is bogus; they had been deprived, neglected and abused much longer than what any caregivers would have provided care.

So now we read on the front page of this newspaper that “friends” of the alleged animal abuser will be given his dogs. Are these the same “friends” who were supposed to have taken care of them before? How can it be possible that this man could ever be considered to re-gain custody or have association with these poor animals? If you think that he will not have contact with these dogs you are wrong; abusers will return to their victims repeatedly. It is well known that a beaten dog will be terrified of the abuser. To submit these “animals” to any association at all with the perpetrator is wrong, wrong, wrong. His abuse of the animals is abominable, but perpetuation of it by a knowing judge, or our community, is incredibly frightening. Shall we all look away while evil walks among us? I cannot fathom what kind of “human” would have tortured these dogs the way he did. And why does the owner even have a say in what happens to the dogs after what he has put them through? His rights should have been terminated immediately upon rescue.

The dogs should be adopted out to screened, loving families. It would be better to put them down than to again subject them to their “owner’s” presence. Why doesn’t the humane society seek a restraining order to prevent his ever having access to these dogs again?

Leigh Hill


Public service motivates this state employee

I was infuriated when I read Gordon “Doc” Smith’s letter to the editor Monday, Feb. 5, “Where the trouble lies.”

Mr. Smith is correct: State institutions don’t have to show a profit. However, state workers in those institutions do have to smile nicely and be helpful when we deal with people like Mr. Smith who sneer at us, degrade our work, our co-workers and our professions.

As a proud professional in the Hawai‘i State Public Library System, I heartily disagree with Mr. Smith’s claim that government workers somehow are not the best workers and that Hawai‘i has far too many of them. He claims most workers won’t do a good job unless there is a profit motive, that dedicated workers are rare, and that most people are only looking out for themselves. Perhaps this is more a reflection on Mr. Smith.

Most of my co-workers across the state are highly dedicated and motivated. We are doing much more with much less. We are dedicated to our jobs, despite the pay, which is laughable, despite the lack of respect we get for what we do and despite the fact that people begrudge us our benefits and days off.

For me, it is simply this: Though I earn less money and respect than I would doing the same thing in the private sector, I remain dedicated and motivated in my job, because I know that by doing a good job I am helping my community. The following quote by George Bernard Shaw says it better than I ever could: “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as I live it is my privilege — my privilege — to do for it whatever I can.”

Lani T. Kawahara


Reduce, reuse, recycle

Many Kaua‘i residents are not recycling.

It was trash night in our neighborhood last night and I was appalled to see the large number of cardboard boxes (many from Costco) that were set out with people’s trash cans. Cardboard is one of the easiest things to recycle. It is usually pretty clean and can easily be folded up to fit into the trunk of a car and taken to your neighborhood recycle bin. Recycling is so important. The Kekaha landfill is expected to reach its full capacity in eight years. We need to do everything we can to keep recyclables out of the landfill. Please, people, take the time to recycle. Our island’s future depends on it.

Gladys Barnett


Peri-anesthesia nurses unite

Hi … I’m wishing all the PACU (Recovery Room) and Same-Day Surgery Nurses on Kaua‘i a very “Happy Peri-Anesthesia Nurse Awareness Week.”

Aloha from Joan vacationing in Australia.

Joan Kutzer



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