Editorial: For those who cannot speak
The concept and practice of animal control in Mathews County have been set back by decades with the recent transition from two officers to one who works part time; and by the decision that the officer will work along the lines of an old-fashioned "dog warden," dealing only with dogs and not with other problems such as feral cats or loose livestock.
The cutback in services also allows a cut in expenditures of about $50,000.
County officials explain that they now adhere to the requirements of state law; residents having problems with colonies of feral cats, raccoons, loose cows, etc., will have to seek private solutions.
The board of supervisors needs to take a long, hard look at this change, which was enacted with little public notice or discussion, as it formulates a budget for the coming year. We believe that animal control and animal welfare are two subjects that should walk hand in hand.
Money is tight everywhere, but the animal control allocation represents only a small fraction of the Mathews County budget. It seems a shame to find savings at the expense of living creatures who cannot speak for themselves.