Reader letters May 23

May 22, 2014

The misfortune of hunting dogs

To the editor:

It is a sad truth that if you are born a hunting dog in Haywood County, your chance of having a normal lifespan is very small.

I am not talking about the few good hunters who cherish their dogs, feed and house them well, give them the needed medications for wellness.

I am referring to the statistics for 2013 of hounds turned into the Haywood County Animal Shelter.

Consider these numbers.

— Black and tan, 6 out of 11 euthanized, 54.5 percent

— Blue Ticks, 9 out of 11, 81.8 percent

— Fox hounds, 8 out of 9, 88.8 percent

— Hounds, 63 out of 112, 56.3 percent

— Hound mixes, 22 out of 85, 25.8 percent

— Plotts, 11 out of 25, 44.0 percent

— Red Bones, 5 out of 17, 29.4 percent

— Red Ticks, 4 out of 8, 50.0 percent

— Walkers, 29 out of 41, 70.7 percent

— Walker mixes, 11 out of 12, 91.6 percent

For comparison, all dogs euthanized totaled 453.

All hounds:  Removing Dachshunds from list, a total at 439 dogs were turned in with 181 euthanized. That’s a 41 percent euthanization rate.

In a civilized community, how does this happen?  One person turned in 19 hounds, another turned in 14 hounds and another six. Often the dogs are in poor condition, underweight, dirty and fearful.

As residents of Haywood County, your tax dollars are being spent to house, feed and then euthanize these hound dogs.

Your landfill is the repository of plastic bags of dead dogs. Can the hunters of this county apply pressure on the members of their clubs to do better by their dogs? If so, I would think they would have already done it.

This is not a hidden fact of which they are not aware. It is beyond time for our lawmakers to take a stand on behalf of these dogs.

Let’s figure out a way for these animals to be cared for in a humane manner.  Hunting is a heritage in Haywood County, but it should not be a death sentence to be born a hunting dog.

Linda Sexton



Thanks for the support

To the editor:

Once again I’m humbled by the generosity of so many people who took time to visit Haywood County’s law enforcement at the second annual “Cop-On-Top” fundraising event and donate to the Special Olympics.

This year’s partnership with Waynesville Police Department, Maggie Valley Police Department, and Canton Police Department as their officers accompanied me on the rooftop is a great sign of continued steps towards Haywood County law enforcement unifying to better serve the citizens of Haywood County.

Thank you Haywood County for supporting this worthy cause! I’m already looking forward to next year’s “Cop-On-Top.”

Deputy Daniel Blagg

Haywood County Sheriff’s Office



Celebrate the horse this Memorial Day

To the editor:

Horses have been used to carry men into battle for thousands of years.

They fell right along with their riders.  Horses were used to carry weapons of war, used as pack animals for the army.

Many horses were just as frightened as the young men who rode them, men who fought valiantly for the cause of the day.  From Caesar to our own Civil War, horses have served mankind.

So, STAR Ranch would like to offer a special ‘thank you’ to the unsung horse heroes of many battles.

And, to remind us all that horses are not just a means to an end.  Without them, the fields would not have been planted, carriages moved, wagons taken West or the mail delivered  — or wars won.

This is the Chinese “Year of the Horse.”  Let’s celebrate them, too along with our own special brave men and women who made this country a free nation, under God.

Karen Owens

Star Ranch

Justice should apply to all

To the editor:

It is wonderful that mediators are able to solve many problems, without having to go through the court system.

I believe there is also another way court cases could be greatly minimized in the system.

Criminal acts are not only committed by the youth of society. I have seen first hand how senior citizens can make a joke of our justice system.

They can repeatedly break the law and be found guilty only to receive a slap on the wrist or a suspended sentence, which only encourages them to continue their actions.

People with no respect for our laws should be made accountable regardless of their age.

To do otherwise, (like children) only encourages them to continue causing the stress, anxiety and financial burden to the innocent parties that have to continually defend themselves against these miscreants.

Judges that blow off these crimes because they think a person (regardless of their age) will all of a sudden behave do a great injustice to the innocent parties.

They are the ones that deserve to be protected, not the lawbreakers that many times appear to be the only ones that are protected.

Wake up judges and think of how you would feel if these criminals were assaulting you and your family only to once again be given another chance over and over to do it again.

Punishment for crime can be a deterrent at any age, not just for youngsters.

The great majority of us are law-abiding citizens that pay our taxes and expect for the police and judges to protect us, not the criminals.