Don’t be fooled by deceptive tactics

Editor,

A May 11 letter (“Don’t be fooled by letter about puppy mills”) commenting on my letter of May 8 about deceptive puppy mill legislation, is wholly inaccurate. The author’s interests apparently lie with big money pet stores like Petland and the puppy-millers who supply them. But the fact remains that this legislation, HB 5916/HB 5917, masquerades as animal welfare and would undercut efforts to protect families looking to bring home a puppy.

Those bills deceptively claim to raise Michigan regulatory standards by applying USDA licensing standards. That may sound good, but USDA standards are shockingly low – and relevant USDA inspection information on these facilities was purged from its website by the current administration in 2017. So, no Michigan enforcement agency can possibly determine whether a pet store is using a supplier meeting USDA standards unless it files a FOIA request. Practicably, under this legislation, pet store purchases from puppy mills would go unregulated.

These bills encourage and legislatively protect the continued sale of genetically compromised, unsocialized, sickly puppies characteristic of mills and sold in pet stores often for thousands of dollars. Aside from the cruelty, these puppies can cause buyers a serious financial burden and duped families suffer wholly undeserved heartbreak watching them suffer and even die. Under these bills, there would be nothing local governments could do to stop these misdeeds or uphold community standards.

Michigan Humane Society and innumerable animal shelters, animal control, rescue, welfare, and advocacy groups, all strongly oppose this legislation.

Paid lobbyists for puppy mills and pet stores are desperately maneuvering to enshrine into law this cruel, outdated, and socially unacceptable business model. There is nothing good about this legislation. It’s bad for puppies, bad for consumers, and bad for local autonomy.

Call your state representative. Urge a NO vote on HB 5916/HB 5917.

Virginia Holden

Berrien Springs

Response to accident was callous, unenlightened

Editor,

This letter is in reference to the May 4 letter by James DLouhy stating that the car crash and deaths of three young men was not a tragedy.

It saddens me immensely that anyone could be so callous toward human life and so unenlightened about the extended reach of death and, its powerful and abrupt reminder of its permanency. As the former principal of the school that two of the deceased students attended, I personally witnessed the daily tragedy that this incident presented. Entering the homes of the deceased students, searching for words of comfort for the mothers and family members, organizing grief counseling for many of the students at Benton Harbor High School and announcing to the entire student body of what had taken place the day before, was beyond tragic. Death has no boundaries or time restraints of its lingering effects.

A broader tragedy is that someone would take the time to write such a letter of abomination to the local newspaper expressing their blessings in the death of young men in our community. Making America great again?

Donald W. Pearson

Benton Harbor