I am a member of the Animal Shelter Task Force and could not let Kathy Capone’s letter go unanswered. The Friends of Animals group worked for 5 years to have the 3/7 day Oak Park Animal Control rule changed. Not only would a longer holder period enable owners to find their pets, but it would also give the “captured” animal time to calm down and (if not claimed) become more adoptable.

Why are these animals on the street? There are many reasons. Doors left open by workmen; owners who “just can’t keep their pets from roaming”; care takers not taking proper care of their charges when owners of the pets are out of town; relatives not wanting pets of someone who passed away “releasing” them to find a new home; sometimes just “dumping” an older or ill animal because its care is too expensive.

Oh, yeah, moving and can’t take their loyal pet. These folks are taking their TV and favorite old shirt, aren’t they? Every day, pet friendly places are listed for rent in local and city newspapers.

Regarding temperament testing. At one time, its intent was to match dogs with homes. Some animals aren’t good with young children or other animals. Now this temperament testing has become a code excuse for euthanasia.

Kathy?#34;no matter how peaceful and pleasant the “needle” is, dead is dead is dead. No second chances there!

The “charge” of our group was to find a shelter/animal control. How far we have come?#34;backwards. Some of the group is trying to save adoptable animals and place them in good, safe, Oak Park area homes. Some of the community just wants to dump on other humane groups.

Thankfully, West Suburban Humane and Cat Nap are there to take Oak Park’s “burdens.”

Of course, there are other groups, too. However, as animal numbers go up at certain times of the year, our chances to “get rid” of unwanted pets go down. Then what? There’s always “the needle.” But of course, we would never put animals down because it’s more cost effective, would we?

Why did a person in our group “beg” strangers to support our shelter efforts with donations? We don’t even have a shelter. Would you donate to a non-existing place? I wouldn’t.

Why isn’t a veterinarian on this “animal” committee? Why do some members not even care for animals of their own? The reason is simple. The village doesn’t want a shelter?#34;Animal Control is a legal requirement.

Why spend money/time on animals. There’s no payback. The village wants large, high rise structures, caps on the Eisenhower, building demolition. More over, they want the honor of disregarding the concerns of the people who have to foot bills by paying taxes.

Well, as our beloved president says, “If you don’t like it, move.” Since I’ve been here longer than she has?#34;I’d rather “fight.”

Animal lovers need to unite once again and support the New Leadership Party. They include Robert Milstein, Greg Marsey, Martha Brock, Geoff Backer, and Sharon Patchak Layman. They are all animal friendly candidates.

They care about those who cannot speak for themselves. At the same time, they listen to and hear our concerns.

Vote April 5. Every vote will count. Sadly, our animals cannot wait.

? Jean Heyes is a member of the Animal Shelter Task Force

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