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I’VE VOLUNTEERED SATurdays at the Washington Humane Society’s (WHS) Georgia Avenue shelter (which, run by WHS, would not be affected by a shutdown of the New York Avenue shelter) for four years, primarily walking the dogs that are kept in cages, so I read the article “Dog Days” (The District Line, 10/13), about the possible closure of the shelters, with great interest.

I know very little about the group of former WHS staff and others who say they can run a no-kill shelter, but I do wonder how anyone can “guarantee” that the shelters could be run with all animals being adopted (to decent homes?), since so many people are only interested in adopting a kitten or puppy (often not realizing that older animals will require a lot less care) and only want certain breeds (mutts are, more often than not, ignored).

I did find it interesting that there was not one single mention in the article about the primary causes of so many animals ending up in the shelters in the first place: people who let their animals have litter after litter (with many of the resulting animals brought to the shelters, and others simply abandoned), and people who neglect and/or abuse their animals—everything from letting collars grow into growing animals’ necks to leaving pets outside in freezing weather to deliberate torture, including starvation. I recently saw at the shelter a young, friendly pit bull that had refused to be a fighting dog, and so was used as “bait” by its owner to train other dogs to fight.

Some, or even many, of the criticisms of the current shelter management may be warranted, but the only people I know of who are really insensitive to the suffering of the animals of Washington are certain scumbag pet owners who will get away with even more despicable actions if a shelter is closed or its operations curtailed.

Silver Spring, Md.