To the Editor:
I read with great interest Douglas Wright’s article entitled “All Creatures Great and Small” in the January 1st edition of your paper. My interest stems from the fact that I too have had to watch the pigs Douglas refers to wallowing through the snowdrifts with no shelter or bedding.
About a month ago, when I realized that the keeper of the animals had no intention of providing shelter and bedding for them, I approached him and asked for permission to build an appropriate shelter for the animals, with materials, which I would provide. His response was an adamant “no”, and that they were fine as they were. After urging him again and again to allow me to build a shelter, in an increasingly tense atmosphere, I gave up.
Shortly after that I contacted a Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff with my concerns. He indicated that he would either look into the matter or have an animal control officer do so. About a week later, after having called the Lincoln County Animal Control officer, getting a recording, leaving a message and getting no reply, and concerned that nothing was being done, I visited the Division of Animal Welfare (Dept. of Agriculture) and made a complaint.
About a week after that I learned from a friend that a state official had visited the site. However, I am unable to see where anything meaningful is being done to alleviate the animals’ suffering, other than some hay being thrown on top of the snow for bedding.
Calls to the Animal Welfare office seeking answers as to what is being done to relieve the animals’ plight have been met with the advice that “the case is under investigation” and that no information can be given out until the investigation is complete.
I understand that the wheels of official action grind exceedingly slow, and sometimes not very fine, but at the present speed the pigs’ misery will be relieved by the changing of the seasons, and not by the duly constituted authorities.
The status of the animals in question is extremely troubling to me as it appears to be not simply a case of animal neglect, but rather one of deliberate animal cruelty and I do hope that the authorities will treat it as such.
Lore H. Ford III