Letters to The Editor – July 25th, 2018

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Synchronize the lights

Editor, Smithfield Times
Is there a reason why the three traffic lights at Eagle Harbor in Carrollton are not in sync Monday through Friday from 3:30 p.m. through 6 p.m. during rush hour traffic to help with the traffic flow? After working nine hours a day, it is frustrating to sit in traffic when there seems to be a solution to the problem. The problem seems to be worse during the summer months and it has become an everyday event.
Perhaps VDOT could monitor the backup in Carrollton and perhaps they could sync the three traffic lights for a trial period to see if it helps the situation. It would be greatly appreciated by all those who drive this route on a daily basis.
Debbie Whitley

Supports low kill

Editor, Smithfield Times
My family has adopted from the Isle of Wight Shelter since 1992. Between my parents, sister, and myself, we have adopted 12 animals and my sister has taken in three fosters just this year from the same shelter. My dog, Huckleberry, is the perfect example of why I am against the idea of changing the low kill policy at Isle of Wight Shelter.
Huckleberry was in the shelter for months before he was adopted by a family. However, they expected a perfect dog straight from the shelter and were not willing to deal with teaching him how to be a house dog. They returned him the same day they adopted him. I adopted Huckleberry and he is one of the most well-behaved dogs I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Of course he had quirks, but the staff monitors those quirks and informs potential adopters of their habits and such.
They do this because they care about each and every animal that comes through those doors. The staff is limited in my opinion, but the vast majority of unpaid volunteers makes the lives of the officers and kennel attendants 100 times better. So many people volunteer because they want to find homes for these babies. Week after week they walk the same dogs and share in the joy and tears when those dogs are finally adopted.

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Another animal always takes their kennel space and they start all over, evaluating, feeding, cleaning, walking and learning each and every dog. This is the most dedicated staff I have ever known in my 26 years as a Smithfield resident. Everyone works together for the good of the animals.     Please reconsider the idea of changing the low kill policy. The staff and volunteers work hard to find a home for every animal they can and they succeed! Some animals take longer to get to know, open up, and settle. Putting a time limit on an animal’s length of stay at the shelter takes away from families getting to adopt their best friend. The greatness of Isle of Wight County depends on this decision.
Emily Anderson

No time limit, please

Editor, Smithfield Times
More than ever before, society is inspired, motivated and moved by compassion for our fellow animals. The petitions, Facebook pages and outcries from stories of animals abused or neglected are growing because people are growing more compassionate, not just for our fellow human, but animals and the environment as well.
The ability to show kindness and compassion for those who cannot help themselves is a gift humanity has to bestow on this world we are tasked with governing. I have not seen that gift so exemplified as it has been and the Isle of Wight shelter. Every day, staff and volunteers, people of all walks of life brought together by a drive to give the gift of compassion, work together to give every animal that walks in our shelter the best change for a new life. This shelter works with fosters, rescues, trainers, photographers, volunteers, and the community to help bring out the best in these beautiful creatures that ended up at the shelter through no fault of their own.
Anyone who has suffered from abuse and neglect knows the time it takes to heal. Animals are no different. Supporters of the shelter work tirelessly to help these animals heal and find a forever home to be loved and cherished in.
In my time as a shelter volunteer and foster, I have seen so much good that has touched our county citizens through working with animals. Adoption events, summer reading programs for children, inmates being compassionate members of society, the mentally disabled coming in to love these animals and lift their spirits.
If animals were given a time limit and euthanized if their forever family doesn’t find them quick enough or a rescue can’t take them on, I am sure many community outreach programs would cease to exist. No one wants to bring their families into a shelter where the animals our citizens see and love won’t be saved if they’ve been there a “bit too long.”
I also foresee a time limit on shelter animals reflecting badly on our county. I implore the county to not set time limits on our shelter animals.
Erin Anderson

Dog named Shorty

Editor, Smithfield Times
I writing to you to share the story of how my “rescue” dog rescued me. Shorty, my German Shepard Corgi mix, came to the Isle of Wight Animal Shelter in 2014 in terrible shape; he was mal-nourished, scared, un-trusting of humans, anxious, and overall unsure how to be a domestic dog.  Shorty stayed at the Isle of Wight shelter for almost a year. The majority of this time he was unavailable for adoption because everything terrified him. After months at the shelter, he connected with one of the volunteers, was walking on a leash, but still very anxious. I saw shorty’s picture on pet finder in August of 2015 and the first few visits had to be scheduled and coordinated with one of the volunteers that Shorty trusted, an angel named Sandra. Shorty trusted Sandra and needed to see that she approved & trusted me before Shorty would allow himself to bond with me.   For a month and a half, I visited Shorty & Sandra; we would go for walks, I brought him cheeseburgers, his favorite food, and we would spend time together at the gazebo on the shelter’s property. Sandra was much more trusting than Shorty, slowly but surely Shorty realized that Sandra had given me her blessing and we were on the road towards adoption! I could tell shorty was still working through his nervousness an anxiety but on Sept. 19, 2015 we celebrated our “Gotcha Day.” I share this because Shorty is not just a dog I rescued from a shelter; oddly enough Shorty rescued me from an incredibly toxic work environment, and gave me a reason to get up when I couldn’t find one myself. His presence and having to tend to his needs reminded me to take care of myself. The Shelter volunteers knew Shorty needed someone with experience with mental illness and who could understand him- not just someone who had experience with dogs in the past.  Isle of Wight does an incredible job of placing animals in their forever homes. My hope is that my story of Shorty and the impact he has had on my life reminds the Isle of Wight shelter that placing animals in their forever home takes time.
Danielle Simcic
Administrative Coordinator
Georgetown University

Take off your jacket

Editor, Smithfield Times
I had three places to choose to be two Wednesday nights ago. I chose to attend the debate at Smithfield Center for the special election for sheriff. I think it’s always wise to attend these and listen.
If you had a question, you wrote it on a recipe size card. I wrote it on the wrong size card and had to rewrite it on the card being given out, only to have it not asked or read by the moderator. It was a waste of time.
The, halfway through the question and answer session, someone turned down the temperature of the air conditioner. By the time I left at the end of this function, I had become a frozen Popsicle rushing outside to warm up. My arthritis has acted up ever since and I have slowed down considerably doing chores on our small farm.
Here’s a thought. Men, you don’t have to wear your suit jackets 36 5 days of the year. Come neatly dressed in casual clothing suitable for the 90 degree temperatures we are having, or I may not attend your next election gathering to make up my mind on who to vote for. Let the thermostat higher and save whoever is paying Dominion Virginia Energy at the summer rate.
Were you not shocked at your electric bill when you opened it. I was. We have to pay Dominion Energy and the costly water bill, and hope there is enough left to buy the essentials at the grocery store, of which we only have one now.
Marie Bailey