To the editor:
I am not affiliated with the Jefferson County Animal Shelter in any way except that within the last month I have had occasion to visit the facility several times.
First, I hesitantly mentioned to Cassie Howell that I had four grown cats that had belonged to a family member who is no longer able to care for them. Cassie was very kind to me, accepted the cats without reservation and assured me they would be adopted into a good home. She invited me to stop by and check on them at any time, which I did. Each time I visited I found staff members bathing dogs and puppies, cleaning cat cages and socializing with the animals.
Cassie knew the name of each cat and let my friend and I give them treats. All the cats I took to the shelter were adopted out. I stood by one day as Cassie refused in a subtle way to allow a dog to be adopted by a person she didn't feel would care for the animal properly. I was extremely impressed.
A couple of weeks later, I found a stray with four kittens that were just weaned and took them to the shelter. Cassie and another staff member received the kittens, and stopped their work to hold them and caress them until the kittens relaxed to the human touch. She immediately got kitten food and kitten milk for them to make sure they were able to eat. The next day one of the kittens was adopted by a family that I know will give it good care.
I have also taken items in to donate and noted the staff was thrilled with the soft blankets that would make the animals more comfortable in their cages. I have seen nothing but compassion for the animals when I have stopped in there (always unannounced) and it is hard for me to believe, as someone accused last week, that the caregivers at the shelter are killing animals for no reason.
I hope that the person who made this accusation is not doing so on word of someone who is being vindictive for some reason. I also would like to remind the animal lovers of Jefferson County that the shelter is very thankful for any donation that serves the animals. Please don't let these accusations discourage you from doing anything you can to help our animals who need homes.