Pick another organization
While the baiting and killing of a black bear is a reprehensible act that should be punished to the letter of the law, I find Judge Buss’ use of PETA as some kind of moral compass in the treatment of animals quite astonishing (“Was PETA the right decision?” Oct. 17). Requiring the hunter, Craig Miller, to contribute to an organization that has itself broken the law in regard to the treatment of animals sends a rather confusing message to the people of Pitkin County. In 2005, two of PETA’s employees were arrested in North Carolina on 31 counts of animal cruelty for killing puppies that were supposed to be, well, rescued. Police found multiple bags of dead dogs thrown in a Dumpster after a series of complaints from the Dumpster owners. PETA used their tax-deductible funding to defend these employees. Their use of money and influence to be the appointed spokesperson of the Animal Liberation Front, an organization that has perpetrated sabotage and other illegal acts that have put human life in jeopardy, puts them clearly on the other side of the law.
Judge Buss, this is an organization that has collected funds from a lot of well-meaning people, but has used this money to maintain “rescue” shelters that have some of the highest kill rates in comparison to less well-funded public shelters, killing more than 85 percent of their animals. Furthermore, their broader agenda of veganism, ending the concept of pet ownership and their violent opposition of the use of animals for advancements in life-saving medicine do not promote adherence to the laws; your job is neither to enforce nor reflect the ideology of the people of Pitkin County, whom you represent. I suggest that before you require a person convicted of breaking the law to contribute to an organization, you better know what they stand for and their own record for obeying the law, which, in this case, isn’t very good.
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.