The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 18, 2013

Readers' Forum 12-18 | Plastic doghouses not fit for animals

JOHNSTOWN — For the second time in two weeks, Habitat for Hounds has received calls about dogs outside, in plastic doghouses, with a wet blanket or rug inside, frozen water and no food.

One call was from a garbage company and the other a concerned neighbor. We would never advocate a dog living outside, no matter what the breed. We hear it over and over: “But it’s a hunting dog.” Last time we checked, hunting dogs are living, breathing creatures with feelings – like any other dog.

Unfortunately, we live in a state where it is still legal to keep dogs outside. Whoever designed the plastic doghouses didn’t put much thought into them. Have you ever tried to lie on frozen, hard plastic or a wet blanket or rug in zero degree weather?

Dogs get frostbite just like humans. If you insist on keeping your dog outside, then at least provide an insulated, preferably wooden, doghouse with straw and a flap to break the wind so the dog can hold its body heat. Put yourself in your dog’s place.

Also, check the dog’s water frequently and add extra calories in the winter.

We provide wooden doghouses and straw all winter long in Cambria County for a small donation or free for those who can’t afford it.

There is no excuse. The very best scenario would be to just bring your dog inside.

Joni Weaver

Habitat for Hounds

Where’s compassion within government

Having spent most of my adult life in leadership positions, it became apparent in the beginning that the most important attribute a leader must possess is compassion, or soon they will be leading no one but themselves. Somewhere along the line, our representatives have abandoned this concept. Here are a few examples:

-- Kathleen Sebelius, appointed to lead the Affordable Care Act, recently denied a 12-year-old child from receiving a lifesaving lung transplant due to her age, saying, and I paraphrase, some people live and some people die. Isn’t is comforting to know this person will be in charge of a program that affects all of us. Thankfully, a common-sense judge overturned this ruling, and this precious child seems to be doing well.

-- And who could forget Hillary Clinton testifying before Congress on the Benghazi fiasco, which has been swept under the rug, when she said (paraphrased), what possible difference does it make now? Well, Clinton, four Americans, including our ambassador, lost their lives while the most powerful nation on the globe stood idly by and let it happen. It makes a lot of difference to their families and for those of us who value human life.

Clinton may also be a candidate for presidency in 2016. Hopefully this will not be forgotten when the elections roll around.

Choose your elected officials carefully, regardless of party affiliation. Don’t let the uncaring govern this great nation.

Paul Ferguson


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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