Be a responsible pet owner, spay and neuter

December 03, 2001 12:00 am

Be a responsible pet owner, spay and neuter

Theres good news and bad news from the Blue Mountain Humane Association shelter.

The good news is the adoption rate and the rate of animals reclaimed by their owners have risen in 2001. The percentage of dogs adopted or redeemed through October is 70 percent, compared with 57 percent for all of the previous year. The percentage of cats adopted or redeemed in 2001 through October is 31 percent, compared with 28 percent for all of the previous year.

The bad news is the number of animals coming to the Blue Mountain Humane Association shelter is rising significantly. Incoming cats at the shelter totaled 867 through October, compared with 365 for all of the previous year. Incoming dogs, meanwhile, totaled 539 through October, compared with 434 for all of the previous year.

All these numbers show that the area is doing its part to advocate on behalf of disposed animals. The public is also falling far short of the high standards needed to keep pet numbers at reasonable limits. The population explosion at the shelter needs to be brought into line, and every citizen must do his or her part.

The bigger point is, pet owners must take responsibility. Its heart-tugging to think about what comes from irresponsibility. But responsible pet owners can do their part to fix the problem. First, spay and neuter when appropriate. The cost is minimal; the rewards are great. Second, use good judgment when selecting a pet. Plan for the life of the animal. In some cases, that can mean 20 years, but you can be assured those two decades will be rich and rewarding.

Check your tires

Care about the environment? The safety of you and your children? Then think tire safety. The federal government has launched a campaign, called Tire Safety: Everyone Rides on It, to get motorists to check their tires. Every one of us should get on board.

Two factors to keep in mind are tire baldness and low tire pressure. A bald tire has a harder time gripping the road. Low tire pressure leads to tire failure like blowouts and tread separation as well as quicker wearing out and less gas mileage. One way we can all contribute to the environment, and help keep America less dependent on foreign oil is to maintain adequate tire pressure.

If you still need convincing that tire care is a problem, check out these numbers:

9 the percentage of passenger vehicles that have at least one bald tire.

1 in 50 the traffic accidents for which tire problems are blamed.

What can you as a driver do? Have your tires checked regularly both the tread and inflation. Stop in at a local tire dealer and have your tires looked over, especially before hitting the highway. Your familys safety is riding on it.