Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - July 3, 2008

Cruel treatment of dogs is a tragedy

On June 19, at least 20 people went to Rock Hill City Municipal Court to be a voice for animal cruelty -- that is, overly bred, abused, penned and chained dogs in our area. We were disappointed in The Herald's lack of interest in this story.

These dogs were cramped in a pen in a highly visible area. The owner was fined for letting his female German shepherd, who was nursing, starve to the point she had to be euthanized at York County Animal Control. Also in the pen were six puppies, two of which were dead. The other four had to be euthanized. Last summer, this young dog also had a litter. The first week I had moved to Rock Hill, I saw her and her 3- to 5-month-old German shepherd puppies stuffed into a 10-by-10 pen. The male German shepherd was in a pen on the other side, with very little room to move. In one year, the female had two litters, and I heard that she has had many more in the past years. Just as other exploited female dogs used in puppy mill situations, she was emaciated and terribly weak.

Thanks to Rock Hill City Police, York County Animal Control and especially to Judge Long, who all recognized her suffering and her dead puppies to be unacceptable animal cruelty. Unfortunately, for the female German shepherd and her last litter of puppies, they will never know how many people cared about them and how many people filed complaints with Animal Control and numerous rescue groups.

I, like many, do not understand why we don't do more prevention of animal cruelty. Why are our laws so lax? Why should we have to feel angry, sick and sad to drive down the street to go downtown or to get to Target? Why does a dog have to be dead or near death before anything can be done? Why do people even have dogs if they can't care for them?

I've taken so many alternative routes to avoid feeling exhausted by how cruel people can be. Although I wished I could have saved the mother dog from euthanasia, I feel comfort knowing her suffering is over. She was a beautiful German shepherd who became a puppy mill for her heartless owner. Sadly, the male shepherd still sits alone, looking out his pen wondering what he did to deserve this life. Please think about where your dog is coming from, or else you may be contributing to this suffering.

Alicia Schwartz

Rock Hill

Offshore drilling can make a positive difference

I am responding to James Werrell's column in the June 20 Herald, titled "More offshore drilling isn't the answer."

Mr. Werrell spared us no exaggeration in his column, asking us to picture South Carolina's shoreline covered in globules of tar-like oil, dead fish rotting, birds dying a slow death in the muck and no tourist in sight.

Now, there is a man with an agenda. I suppose I have had an agenda, too! It is to correct Mr. James Werrell and to say he is totally wrong in his projections about the oil field.

How can I say this? Well, because for seven years I worked as a roughneck for Nabors Offshore Corp., the largest drilling company in the world. I participated in drilling 39 separate wells in the Gulf of Mexico, mostly, and never once did we pollute to any degree the way James Werrell accuses.

I never saw oil on the beach, rotting fish, dying birds, muck, etc. I saw a small army of unsung heroes, 30,000 strong at any given time, working offshore, risking injury and death -- some did die -- to bring oil and gas to America.

We were under the constant eye of the Department of the Interior as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, which monitors oil wells and drilling from satellites in outer space, as well as by boat and helicopters.

Our No. 1 concern was the safety of our men and to not pollute the Gulf.

Millions of fish flocked to our platforms to eat the leftover food the galley hands threw overboard. I never saw a single dead fish or bird from rig pollution in seven years. Many Americans today benefit from the gasoline, oil and natural gas we made available.

I consider Mr. Werrell's deceptions ignorant at best and dishonest at worst.

The men I knew offshore can make a difference and supply us with oil and gas -- if the political hacks will get out of their way and let them do their jobs.

William C. Carter