Letter Box


In the best interest
of the animals ...

Editor of the Reformer:

The Board of Directors and the staff of the Windham County Humane Society wish to express their concern for the welfare of the animals at Santa’s Land in Putney. The WCHS does not have legal authority nor does it have any enforcement power in criminal cases such as this. However, given our mission to ensure the safety and well being of animals, we are doing all we can in our capacity as your local, private non-profit animal welfare agency. Since the case was first investigated, Annie Guion, executive director for the WCHS, has been in contact with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department, the Putney Animal Control Officer, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the USDA in an effort to provide services and support as appropriate. We have been assured that these agencies are actively monitoring the situation and overseeing the implementation of the care and feeding program created by a veterinarian and Annie is updated as the situation unfolds. Our goal is to work with local law enforcement to ensure the safety and welfare of all animals, in accordance with state and local laws.

The decision by the Windham County Sheriff’s Department to keep the animals at the Santa’s Land facility was made in accordance with the advice of a veterinarian. It is very difficult and stressful to move many of these types of animals so this decision is in the best interest of the animals.

Criminal charges have been filed against the owner and the caretaker. The WCHS sincerely hopes that the outcome of the trial will be such that the owner will be required to surrender ownership of all the animals at Santa’s Land, and that she not be allowed to own animals in the future. We trust the courts to reach this decision as we feel it is the right one given the gross neglect that has taken place at her facility. If this is not the outcome, we will look for other means to guarantee the safety and well being of these animals, now and in the future.

In the meantime, we ask all animal lovers to be patient while our legal system does its work. If you have valid concerns about the well-being of the animals based on evidence, and not rumor or conjecture, the appropriate authority to call is the Windham County Sheriff’s Department. Their deputies are on site at Santa’s Land almost daily. They request that people refrain from trespassing as well as from attempting to feed these animals, as that will interfere with the veterinary plan and could cause harm.

Bradly Hamilton, Ross Kinney,

Susan Kelly, Tina Buehler,

Todd Gray, Greg Lesch,

Stewart McDermet,

Valerie Barry, Gina Cote,

Lydia Mahan, Annie Guion,

Keri Roberts, Carolyn Conrad,

Heidi Snell, Eric Brow,

Charlene Dandrea

and Jasmine Burgess,

Board of Directors and staff

of the Windham County Humane Society, Brattleboro, June 3

Thanks to a community of friends and patrons

Editor of the Reformer:

The sale of The Putney Inn to an investor with ties to the area, which was to have occurred over the winter, did not and will not happen.

Changed circumstances, evidently, preclude the Inn’s re-opening. And so, another small, local, independent, family-owned and operated business fades from the landscape.

In sharing my disappointing news, I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of neighbors, friends and patrons who have graced my door over my four decades as innkeeper-ess. Many folks who were mere acquaintances have become friends, integral to the nurturing of a business with true heart and soul.

I am saddened. But I am proud and comforted in the knowledge that multiple generations of guests hold many great memories of many great times shared here. I was grateful to play a part in so many rites of passage and holiday celebrations, and I am grateful to reflect on them now.

Please tell your friends to tell their friends that The Putney Inn, with 11.25 plateau acres nestled between the Connecticut River and I-91, is for sale. Someone may know someone who knows someone in whose dreams and vision a property just such as ours may fit. Location, location, location -- and so much more.

I wish to thank so many who have already their extended kind wishes and kind regards to me,

Randi Ziter,

Putney, June 3, 2014

Kudos to Jon Potter

Editor of the Reformer:

I want to express my pleasure in seeing the announcement in the Reformer that Jon Potter is to be the new executive director of Latchis Arts. During his long tenure as the Arts Editor of the Reformer, Jon has been an impressively consistent source of support for the artistic community in the Brattleboro region. His understanding of the arts in our area and his ability to communicate excitement about the arts through his writing in Ovation has been invaluable to our cultural vitality. I’m delighted to see that he’s been tapped for the position at the Latchis!

Jon Mack,


Hooker-Dunham Theater

and Gallery, June 2

On eating meat ...

Editor of the Reformer:

I read with interest a recent letter ("Animal lovers?" May 28).

While I do agree that everyone has a right to their own opinions, the letter writer is wrongly criticizing we meat-eating people. First of all, my Bible states that we humans "shall have dominion" over all creatures. How does the letter writer think the Pilgrims would have survived when they came to America? They had no gardens to raise vegetables. They did as the Native Americans did, ate whatever nature provided.

In my extended family, there are a few vegetarians, which is their choice. However, providing the meat we eat is humanely raised and meets all government standards in preparing it for the market, we positively benefit from the nutrition only meat can provide. I might add that if it weren’t for meat eaters, we would be overrun with animals that are native to our fields and woods and would require a tremendous supply of natural food. How else could we limit their numbers?

Warren S. Patrick,

Townshend, June 1

It’s the little things ...

Editor of the Reformer:

An open letter to Green Mountain Power on Tuesday night: Thank you for the lovely candlelight dinner ... and the opportunity to flush before we went to sleep. You guys take such good care of us.

Cathi Willken,

Guilford, June 4


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