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Jail time preferable for Rexford horse owner

| September 21, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

I read the article about Steven Neff (Rexford), who was charged with animal cruelty and plead a lesser sentence. I would've liked to see him get jail time and pay more in fines, but I was also grateful he was punished at all. So many people own animals, neglect them to the point that they die, and think nothing of it.

There are many circumstances in the poor treatment of animals. Perhaps some people cannot afford proper care for their animals. Horses, for example require a lot of grooming and foot care. It can be expensive. There are other options besides simply letting the animal get neglected. Many local shelters and even veterinarians will provide basic care on a sliding scale. Isn't it worth the animal's health and welfare to find out?

Another cause of neglect is people simply don't care. In this case, I don't understand why they have animals to begin with. It's just another expense and something else to deal with. I see dogs in the back of pickup trucks constantly and it's dangerous. Statistically, that is the number one cause of death for domesticated dogs. Does that even matter? If a dog dies as a result of poor decision-making by the owner, they would just go get another one and think nothing of it. I can't believe people are truly that stupid and selfish.

I am encouraged that generally people do take good care of their animals, and those residents should be commended. My point isn't to criticize, but to offer suggestions to help those who cannot afford to take care of their animals or don't want to take care of them. If you can't afford them, ask for help. I know of no other area with residents so willing to help. If you don't want to take care of them, call the shelter or try to find someone else to take them. Most people here will bend over backwards to help their neighbor. I've never met anyone who would not help another person if they could. The cooperation and support of this community is what makes it great.

Education can make lives better, in any form. Some animals require more care than others. Veterinarians can answer any questions and give assistance as to how to care for an animal properly. I encourage those having problems with their animals to ask questions and seek a solution rather than just giving up.

Brooke Wilson

San Jose, Calif.