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How interesting that an article on the controversy over euthanizing animals at the animal shelter operated for the city by the Washington Humane Society (“Rubbing Out Nine Lives,” 2/13) (there is another shelter, on upper Georgia Avenue, run by the Humane Society, not for D.C. Animal Control, where most abuse cases end up) should be followed two weeks later by an article about the popularity of Labrador retrievers (Cheap Seats, 2/27). One of the main reasons the shelters become so overcrowded and have so many animals euthanized is that too many people become enamored with certain breeds and will adopt only those breeds (often based on looks, not personality), quickly passing over the mutts and tabbies in the shelters or, even worse, going to breeders to create even more fashionable animals while others sit in shelters or live on the street. If the mutt or tabby isn’t at the puppy or kitten stage, then it has a slim chance of getting adopted, even though it can be far less trouble (e.g., already being housebroken or knowing to use a litter box, and not needing as much personal attention in general). I’ve volunteered at shelters in Sacramento, Brussels, and Washington, and have seen a sad pattern of people looking for pets as though they were shopping for furniture. If you adopt a mutt or tabby, you can be saving an animal that might not otherwise have a chance. And they can make great pets. My two cats from the WHS shelter, Bubba and Tray, are testament to that.

Silver Spring, Md.

via the Internet