By Randy N. Warner ( for LA Times Editorial Section )

Throughout every city and state across the country, those who demonstrate volunteerism and good citizenship are highly valued. By supplementing what would otherwise be the full responsibility of local governments, these individuals fill the gaps left by skeleton staff. They withstand undue pressure to do the impossible, and are threatened by downsizing and insufficient funds needed to maintain quality services or even properly execute mandate.

     The kill rate in most counties across the nation is embarrassingly high and is one of the worst examples we continue to set for our future generations to come. These agencies, along with the county and municipal governing bodies, could and should view these volunteers and rescues as 'assistants' who help out for no pay or compensation whatsoever.

     Instead, when a good citizen steps forward to save the lives of hundreds or even thousands of companion animals, including dogs and cats who would otherwise become staggering statistics, he/she is met with incredible and very encumbering fees,regulations and rules, legal threats and more.. This, while over 8 million adoptable pets are to be killed each year in this country, and backyard breeders choose to have a recreational litter of kittens or puppies with almost no regulation, guidance or structure at all. Yet, they are the people who are clearly the contributing factor in this problem. Again we see the "without victims" theory coming into play; in this case, animal control agencies would loose many jobs. This is mainly due to a seriously inadequate understanding by Americans as to the results of their actions.

     Animal control agencies that have a highly questionable record of humane performance and fail to 'market' their commodity as a normal business would ,allow this to continue with no thought of any tomorrows. Poor business hours for adoptions and retrievals of lost pets, fall short in reminding their public of the pets who are adoptable on a widespread, regular basis, frequently unwilling to require   mandatory spay neuter to any pet going out the door. Most of the problems stem from a lack of understanding  within  the community of the restrictions and requirements placed on the underpaid, overworked  and under  educated   animal  control staff.   It  becomes  a  vicious circle.  But, it's all becoming much more clear recently. The 'lip service' we hear from everyone else is a cover up for their ignorance and refusal to be responsible caring citizens.

        Law enforcement agencies, large numbers of elected officials and a surprising  majority of our citizens have no respect for the lives of these innocent animals or these things would clearly have been looked into and dealt with accordingly.  This also means they refuse to properly acknowledge the proven  impact that conditions and actions  have on the future generations of children who fall victim to having parents with little or no patience for the obvious. And the subsequent results are allowed to contaminate our future generations with the same disrespect as many other like situations that were quickly outlawed and strongly governed.

     We need to be smart. We need to change the way we view and teach the world in a very different way. Not similar to what we've done for 60 years, but differently - a way that works. We need to prove to the legislators at all levels that even though animals don't vote or contribute to campaign re-elections,WE DO! And we should do it volume. Ask each and every person running for office about their views and plans for improvements, and hold them to it.

So, when:

- our congressmen and women, senators and assemblymen drag their feet
and vote “no” on important animal legislation, 

           - law enforcement  continue to claim a lack of time and resources is their justification for not making appropriate arrests,

           -   the judges are refusing to uphold current laws by offering lighter sentencing and dismissing charges completely and 

           -   the local governing bodies are giving themselves up to 35% pay increases annually

            - all   this,  while  cutting  the  animal  control   budgets,.  they  are  sending  a message that America hears.

Until further notice, the general public and lawmakers are sending a strong
message, and it is coming through loud and clear – JUST KILL THE DOGS!!