Living in harmony with our pets
Editor of the Reformer:
Please allow me to comment on Phil Innes June 15 letter on pit bulls and dogs in general. There are so many people these days who love the idea of owning a big beautiful canine with little awareness of the commitment and consistency required in owning such a pet. Pure breeds, and pure breed mixes, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German shepherds to name a few, particularly need and require proper training and discipline for the very fact that they have been specifically bred for the purpose of defense and protection. Their brute strength alone requires that the owner have full control over the dog, this requires training for both the owner and the dog. I support the idea of requirements, and even regulations being in place for both the protection of the public, and the animals themselves. These animals are simply following their instincts. They have an innate understanding of "chain of command" in fact they welcome it. When they get the clear message (non-aggressively) that their owner is in charge, they are quick to comply. What is really sad is the small population of people who deliberately raise their animals to be aggressive, that is animal cruelty in itself. A lot of the problem, however, is owners simply not knowing how to show healthy dominance over their animal, nor the willingness to commit the time and consistency required.
Pit bulls, as with the other
We all have a responsibility for the welfare and humane treatment of our fellow domestic and wild creatures. The human race has coexisted and utilized animals for our own purposes for thousands of years.
Animal Control, local police, the Human Society and Fish & Game need to work as an open system in fulfill their assigned roles to protect, and help these animals in a humane way. It is also dog owners responsibility to make the commitment and take the time to learn and enforce proper discipline with their pet.
It's all our responsibility to report to the Humane Society, Fish and Game, and local authorities any cruel, or other inappropriate behavior toward an animal. It is those organizations that have a responsibility to respond in a humane, and knowledgeable way.
We as a society owe to these creatures, as well as for the safety of ourselves.
Brattleboro, June 20
On Pell Grants, education and Pres. Obama
I grew up in the Keene area, and I come from a family who believes in education. My mom is a teacher, and I hope to become a teacher as well. I am fortunate to have been educated in a great school system; and I am now even more fortunate to be enrolled in a wonderful college. While it was really challenging and frightening to find affordable options for school, I came out with enough financial aid to attend one of my top choices. Many of my peers were not so lucky. The Obama administration, however, is working hard to ultimately make sure that every student who wants to attend a good college can afford it; with programs like a new tax credit for tuition that began last year, and the doubling of Pell Grants.
I'm writing, though, because I am concerned about the direction in which public education has been going under past administrations. I have seen first hand through my participation in a mentorship program what the public schools of Boston, Mass., have to offer our children. Their experiences do not compare to the education I received here in New Hampshire. We absolutely need to ensure that public education is supported and improved, and President Obama is working hard on that.
The Recovery Act supported almost 300,000 education jobs. In 2010, the Obama administration helped school districts across the country prevent 161,000 teacher and school staff layoffs. In his State of the Union Address, Mr. Obama challenged schools and states to keep good teachers on the job and to keep students in school until they graduate or turn 18. But probably the biggest impact the president has achieved in terms of supporting education is the Race to the Top program.
The program rewards states for raising educational standards, helping teachers to better themselves and aiding schools that are struggling. Forty six states have already adopted educational reforms as a result of the Race to the Top program. RTTT includes grants to 21 states for an Early Learning challenge. Those states include 65 percent of children in the U.S. and 59 percent of all low-income students.
President Obama clearly understands the need to support and improve America's teachers, students and educational system so that we can shine not just here at home, but in the global arena as well. Please give the president your support so that he may carry on this hugely important work.
Keene, N.H., June 21