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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

After 12 years of involvement with homeless cats and the TNR, or trap/neuter/release, program, I resent Animal Shelter Director Colleen Macuk's stating that TNR doesn't work. Several cat colonies in south Medford no longer exist thanks to TNR. Kittens and tame cats found homes; the remaining neutered ferals lived out their short lives happier and healthier, fed by sympathetic volunteers. Jackson County Animal Control shouldn't be anti-cat, but proactive in reducing overpopulation and furthering animal welfare. — Mary Kalakay, Medford

Recently, the Tribune printed the story of Max, a beloved pet cat, destroyed at the county Animal Control the same day he came in in a trap. Shelter Director Colleen Mauck said he was "scabby" and "intractable," and had to be destroyed before he harmed the employees. Bull hockey!

Max was terrified, I'm sure, but I seriously doubt he was "scabby" in the few hours he was out before he was trapped. It's a pattern at the county to kill any cat that comes in in a trap (I work with ferals for SNYP, or Spay/Neuter Your Pet of Jackson County, and I know this is their policy).

The moral of this story is, don't let your cat roam. Keep him or her inside, or build a safe outdoor run, and don't assume your neighbor loves your cat. They probably don't. — Jean Strong, Medford

Max, the gentle orange cat, did not stand a chance once it was dumped at the county animal shelter! If Priscilla Farrel had not found out what had actually happened to her beloved pet, we would not be aware of what treatment awaits powerless ones at the hands of the staff there. Thank God for the volunteers and trustees who give love and care to those surviving animals. — Marijo Harr, Medford

The hypocrisy of some wildlife management agencies seems to know no bounds. As reported in the Jan. 1 article "Hunting license program targets predators," the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's new Wildlife Conservation Fund was created to fund the government-initiated killing of native wildlife. Never mind the fact that such a program has little or no connection to conserving anything other than individuals' "rights" to be attractive nuisances for wildlife species and then have government agents come kill the attracted wildlife for free.

Talk about Orwellian doublespeak. But then, when your partner in such endeavors is Wildlife Services, a federal agency that exists solely to eradicate native wildlife that modern society finds inconvenient, I guess it isn't too surprising.

There's been a lot of talk lately about less government being better, and yet conservative politicians throughout the region continue to support this entitlement program rather than encouraging individuals to take personal responsibility for living in the wildland-urban interface. Where's the consistency? — Stephanie Tidwell, Ashland

Last football season I went to a playoff game between Cascade Christian and Horizon Christian schools. The game was at Crater, which is a public school. Before the game, the announcer said "OSAA won't allow a prayer to be said over the P.A. system."

I wonder if whoever incorporated this ruling ever read the coin in their hand that says "In God We Trust."

They would allow a silent prayer — thank you, OSAA.

One player after a touchdown knelt, bowed his head and raised his hand in a "thank you, Lord," praise. I was surprised that he wasn't evicted. My heart was in the pit of my stomach the whole game, and it still aches.

Forget "God bless America," we should be "blessing God, America." All this could only happen in America, the land of the free, and the home of the "Blame!" — Richard W. Goldphenee, Medford