It’s time for Norfolk to return to euthanizing unadoptable cats – The Virginian-Pilot

Re “Norfolk Animal Shelter Violated Veterinary Standards, State Inspectors Say” (July 14): Report of state veterinary violations at Norfolk Animal Care Center came as no surprise to me given my experience bringing a feral cat to the NACC. I trapped a feral cat in my yard and brought it to NACC. NACC refused to accept it; I was advised to release him in my neighborhood.

I don’t want feral cats in my neighborhood. I took the cat to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. NACC changed his tune when PETA called them, and he accepted PETA’s chat. If I didn’t know PETA was available to help me, I would have had to pay a vet to euthanize the cat.

Previously, the NACC would lend a trap to a resident and an animal control officer would pick up a trapped feral cat, bring it to the shelter, and it would be euthanized. The NACC now refers residents to a non-profit group that traps, neuters and releases cats into the community. Funds are limited and they require payment for services. The NACC expects Norfolk residents to care for feral cats at their own expense. They require that we allow feral cats on our property.

The NACC’s top priority is to reduce the number of euthanasias, to the detriment of animal welfare and community health. NACC requires an appointment, for limited hours, to return unwanted pets; they charge a redemption fee. We cannot store animals in crowded, unsanitary conditions. It’s time for the NACC to return to an open shelter, accept all unwanted pets, strays and feral cats, and euthanize the unadoptable ones.

Lisa Billow, Norfolk

Re “Norfolk in ‘early talks’ with Pharrell development team to revitalize Military Circle shopping centre, officials say” (July 8): I don’t understand why Norfolk thinks the best use of land at the Military Circle shopping center Circle would be yet another fun spot in the Tidal Zone. Between Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, there are already at least seven halls and two amphitheatres. Four of them are located in Norfolk: Ted Constant Convocation Center, Harrison Opera House, Scope and Chrysler Hall.

If they can’t decide on a project that would really benefit the area, do something for the planet: raze it all, plant trees and make a park.

Brenda Barrett, Chesapeake

Regarding “If Virginia Senate Turns Red, Governor Youngkin Could Win Commonwealth Abortion Ban” (July 15): The article provides a clear explanation of the status and uncertain future of abortion rights in Virginia. Thanks to Jessica, who shared her story of pregnancy termination after an ultrasound “detected serious abnormalities”.

My own family has a similar story with a scarier ending: long before Roe v. Wade, a great-aunt nearly died of sepsis after being forced to continue carrying a dead fetus.

I suspect that most of us lay people misunderstand the complexities of pregnancy and the terrible choices it sometimes presents. Doctors understand, and I trust them to work for the well-being of patients in all circumstances. I hope Virginia law will continue to allow them to do so.

Sarah Charlock, Newport News

Re “Stop Scapegoating” (Your Viewpoint, June 21): This poor writer says he feels like a scapegoat whenever a local gun crime occurs. Meanwhile, he complains that Planned Parenthood isn’t called the “abortion lobby” by the media. Because it seems to invite comparison, here are the unpolished, media-free essentials.

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The non-profit National Rifle Association is a firearms rights organization, created to advance rifle marksmanship, and which has also become an important firearms rights lobbying group. while teaching firearms safety and proficiency.

Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care. Services include abortions, abortion counselling, birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, women’s and family health care. Planned Parenthood lobbies on behalf of the public.

I was interested in why the writer wanted to own a gun in the first place. He didn’t say it, but the overwhelming majority of gun owners say the main reason is that it gives them and their families “protection.” Enough to ? Well, it turns out the protection comes from all those other gun owners who were driven by much of the same logic. A vicious circle, which the NRA is of course only too happy to encourage.

Stan Pearson, Newport News

Re “Different Uses” (Your Views, July 13): Contrary to Donald Lane’s claim, there are few “military-style fully automatic weapons” legally available to the general public (machine guns manufactured before 1986 are legally owned under federal law, but heavily regulated). “Full automatic” means you press and hold the trigger and the weapon continues to fire until the trigger is released.

So-called “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 are no different from any other semi-automatic rifle in their operation as commonly used rifles for hunting, target shooting, etc One pull of the trigger, one shot. They just have a few extra plastic parts that make them look like a military weapon. There are two categories of crimes committed with a firearm, criminal and psychological. They require solutions that are uniquely targeted at each one. There is no single solution.

Keith Graham, Newport News

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