AFTER retiring, I was a voluntary helper at the Animal Welfare Society (AWS) for nearly 20 years and am horrified at the written attacks against the society ("Society's priorities not right", February 11). Every NGO has its difficulties with lack of funds and staff problems.
To compare the cost of dog food with staff salaries is ludicrous. The writer may not have known how much food is donated to the society, thus cutting the cost considerably.
Does she know how many staff it requires to run a large animal home? Both motor vehicle costs and staff salaries are for the welfare of the animals.
AWS does not refuse to take in animals because it is full as others do. This accounts for overcrowding at times.
Euthanasia becomes essential for animals too old, sick or abused.
This step is taken when they do not respond to treatment.
Have the detractors ever seen animals in the last stages of the contagious diseases which spread rapidly?
AWS is in close proximity to Walmer Township and although some residents love their animals, the cruelty and abuse of others is appalling.
Stabbing cases are the most common and euthanasia becomes the kindest way to end the animals' suffering.
AWS has always received criticism from "no kill" organisations. Euthanasia is not killing but giving an animal a "merciful release" from suffering.
How many humane pet owners have chosen this path for a beloved animal when it is at the end of its life and in pain?
As for finding homes for all the animals, this is the ideal but not possible in spite of efforts made on internet, etc.
The sad truth is that in these times AWS is being flooded with requests to take over animals people say they can no longer afford to feed.
This the public may not know.
What would happen if AWS was forced to close because of the withdrawal of donations and lack of support which some have advocated in the press? No other society would be able to cope with the volume of animals and the problems they would encounter.
Help rather than criticise. Then many of the difficulties would be eliminated.
MJ Phillips, Walmer, Port Elizabeth