Wed, April 01

July 27, 2005

How about cleaning up this place?


When I moved to Camp Verde a year ago I was proud to see a new state highway intersection at 260 and I-17 coming to completion. It was so pristine. However, in just a year's time it looks like trash.

The waist-high bushes and weeds should be removed now before they become ugly, dried-up tumbleweeds blowing any way the wind wants to take them. I realize this is ADOT's department, but with the clout and rapport our town fathers brag about having with state officials, maybe they should be the ones to do something about this eye-sore and the disgrace of our town's first-glance view.

It is a fact that the people going by (and some living in this community) do not realize the weeds are a state problem and not Camp Verde's.

As an aside, however, the weeds around one of the central town areas does not help, and is Camp Verde's problem. The same kind of tumbleweeds grace the empty Bell Gas Station site. These should be taken care of by town officials.

I love living in Camp Verde, but I am embarrassed being the laughing stock of the Verde Valley because we look like poor trash, ne'er-do-well relatives of the more well-kept surrounding cities.

Colysta Wallers

Camp Verde

Sessoms is a great asset to humane society


I am absolutely appalled over the attack at Verde Valley Humane Society (VVHS) and the personal attack of Cyndi Sessoms, executive director. I came from a no-kill shelter where I was a member of the Board of Directors, volunteer, and foster home for dogs. I witnessed first hand multiple animals living at the humane society for up to eight years. In a population of 90,000 people, which we do not have in the valley, how did this become an acceptable form of treatment of animals?

I have been involved as a volunteer at VVHS for eight years from fostering dogs, to helping at adoption days, to walking dogs. My family and I have fostered and placed into loving homes over 60 dogs. We have taken on special cases in need of medical care including dogs hit by cars after being dropped in the middle of nowhere by their owners, a dog neurologically impaired who needs special care, a puppy that had multiple seizures due to being rocked on by a rocking chair, and multiple other "special needs" cases.

Cyndi Sessoms has gone out of her way to make sure in all of these situations that separate donations were brought in to assist in the medical bills to help save these dogs.

On many occasions, Cyndi has contacted us to foster dogs, set to be euthanized that she knew to be highly adoptable. Those no-kill shelter advocates were nowhere to be found at that time, yet continue with their advocacy of a no-kill shelter. In fact, one of the former employees leading this conspiracy against the humane society and Cyndi was employed at the shelter at the time Cyndi attempted to save a particular dog. The employee did nothing.

In the many years I have been involved with the humane society, I have seen and been through many changes and several directors. Until now, I have stayed out of the politics, as being involved in the politics is what causes all involved to lose sight of the purpose of the shelter: to love and help save animals.

Rather than a no-kill shelter, perhaps these people ruining our local humane society reputation could assist in educating our public. Education could and should be the number one focus in our area. Without education, we will never have the option of a no-kill shelter or we will end up with animals spending their lives in the shelter.

Rather than hindering the adoptions of the animals currently in the shelter, perhaps these people expending energy in distracting everyone from the focus of helping could and should themselves be expending energy in helping the animals whether by donations, volunteer work, or whatever other services may be needed at the shelter.

Cyndi Sessoms is a great asset at VVHS and we are lucky to have her. She truly cares about the animals and her staff. It would be a grave and huge loss to this community if Cyndi were no longer at the humane society.

The unfounded accusations started by former employees of the humane society need to stop immediately. The politics and bad publicity need to stop and stop now. We, as a community, need to support our shelter and its staff in whatever capacity we are able to give. The focus is the animals that need our help.

Tami Kubit


Another cheap shot at Humane Society


There she goes again. In a letter titled "Time has come for no-kill sanctuaries" in your July 20 issue, Fran Freedman feels the need to take more cheap shots at the Verde Valley Humane Society. She tries to explain why the VVHS "must keep killing." She says people are now refusing to bring their animals to the Humane Society because "it is a place where there is a risk of death."

This is the Humane Society. It has contracts with cities and towns extending to the outer edges of Yavapai County. Last year the VVHS took in 2,100 homeless, unwanted, lost, sick or behaviorally challenged animals. The VVHS does not pick and choose its animals; it takes every animal that is brought into the facility.

The Humane Society is not a little petting zoo. It is not somebody's hobby. When the Morning Starr Animal Sanctuary starts taking every animal brought to it, does not pick and choose, does not turn away any animal no matter how sick or impossible to adopt, then you can start to talk about the no-kill philosophy.

Freedman's precious no-kill shelter is hardly an enterprise that compares to the far larger Humane Society shelter taking in thousands of animals.

For her to attack the VVHS is despicable. This is not some high school cheerleading competition. The Humane Society is a non-profit, public service organization. It has a job to do, a mandate from citizens and local governments.

Marv Lincoln

Communications Director

Verde Valley Humane Society

Make a difference by adopting an animal for life


After reading the allegations of neglect by many people allegedly in the know, I thought that it would be nice if we put everything into perspective.

Where and when does the neglect begin? It begins with the people who don't think that their pets are members of their family, and by so doing, mistreat the poor unfortunate animals. They fail to provide necessary veterinarian care when needed. They fail to ensure that no more unwanted animals are born, by not spaying or neutering their animals. They fail to train their animals so that they become welcome into their families. And when this lack of attention to their animals produces unwanted side effects, they dump them on an animal shelter.

No, hardly ever does the Humane Society receive animals in good condition. Most of the time they have to clean, vaccinate and spay or neuter these unwanted pets. Unfortunately, some animals are in such poor health, that they have to be euthanized. That is why the name is "Humane." Happily, not all animals fit into this category of neglect, many are just lost.

How can we help? Support the Verde Valley Humane Society in all of their endeavors, whether it is at the shelter or at The Good Buy Shop. Volunteer and make a difference. And while you're at it donate to them, in used items that can be resold or better yet, open your wallet and make a real difference.

I personally have been involved with animal rescue groups for more than 15 years and was instrumental in the construction of a shelter in Glendale. This shelter is a No-Kill shelter, but they have to euthanize animals when the need arises. Again, let's look at the real cause of animal deaths. It's mistreatment by the animal owner, plain and simple.

So, when we are upset over animal deaths, let's remember where it all started. We can all make a difference, by "adopting an animal for life," as they say at the VVHS. By the way, this is the cleanest shelter that I have ever visited, and I never tell them when I'm coming.

Jack Fullmer

Past President of Sun Cities Animal Rescue

Past Board of Directors, VVHS

Past member of Maricopa County Rabies Animal Control Advisory Council

Animal lover and caretaker of three dogs and a cat. All adopted from shelters.

Justice O'Conner served our nation admirably


Perhaps Mr. Lidbeck should do his homework a little more thoroughly before attacking Justice O'Conner. In the Kelo vs. New Haven Supreme Court case that he refers to concerning eminent domain, Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, in true independent form, wrote the dissenting opinion.

In a scathing 15-plus page attack on the majority opinion in that case, Justice O'Conner wrote, among other things, and I quote:

"To reason, as the court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings "for public use" is to wash out any distinction between public and private use of property -- and thereby effectively delete the words "for public use" from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly I respectfully dissent."

Justice O'Conner has served her country with dignity and aplomb for more than 20 years. She has not found herself caught up in the "ideology of the week" mentality that is so pervasive in Washington today. Instead she has done exactly as she was charged to do and that is read and interpret the constitution as written without regard to what political group she might tick off in the process. She will be sorely missed on the bench. She makes me proud to be a fellow Arizonian.

Randy Lowe


Newspapers are often inaccurate and slanted


Isn't being accurate the first goal of journalists and editors?

If so, how did a headline like the following get printed? "Law again clears VV Humane Society." The word "clears" is a misnomer. The VVHS wasn't cleared. According to the Cottonwood police department, there was "insufficient information and evidence to support prosecutionŠ." There's a big difference between the two.

The Independent's headline "No-kill petition signed by only one city resident" was incorrect and also misleading. There was no such thing as a no-kill petition. The petition was a "Citizens Request for Special Investigation and Review Regarding Verde Valley Humane Society Animal Control Contracts." Nowhere does this petition say "no-kill." Saying in the headline that only one city resident signed it is misleading. First, there wasn't and isn't a no-kill petition. Second, the name should have been corrected as above. And to refrain from being unfair, the headline could have said the 25-page petition had over 340 signatures from residents of various towns.

What readers should learn from this is "newspapers are often inaccurate and slanted."

Arden Druce

Camp Verde

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