YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

A reader writes … By Julie K. Koons

February 09, 2001

I have kept silent many times as I have watched one human being after another exhibit their irresponsibility of dog ownership.

I am not from the Valley but have tried and continue to try to educate the public about responsible dog ownership.

Most of you may not know just how desperate the problem is. I have seen 15 dogs and one seagull run over and left to die in the middle of the streets. Not one person stopped to help and the person who hit the animal never even put on his or her brakes.

In one instance two small dogs were attempting to cross Fourth Street in El Centro. I could see from eight or so cars back that this was their intent. Not one brake light came on, no one slowed and sure enough, as the second dog ventured into the street, he was hit by the car in front of me.


It was obvious he was NOT dead. He was lifting his head and looking around. People were zooming dangerously close to him, not even trying to go around him. My husband came to an abrupt stop and I flew out of the truck. I checked the dog's gums and looked him over. The poor little guy was going into shock.

And as I tried to retrieve a towel from my car to carry him with, people were honking and the drivers gestured angrily for me to get out of the way. They lunged forward in their vehicles as a threat for me to move. One driver had placed his bumper nearly to my head as I was bent over the dog and layed on his horn and screamed at me to get out of the way.

I carefully scooted the dog onto a towel, put him in the truck and went to the vet's office. There I was told he would be handed over to animal control and if no one claimed him he would be euthanized in two days. This was not the last time I witnessed this same scenario repeated.

It is at this point that I must tell you I have never seen such blatant disrespect for life, the severe lack of compassion and such rude and obnoxious behavior displayed by so many people. Who and what have we become as a community to display these types of behaviors? Solution?

The bottom line is; spay and neuter your pets; take responsibility for the ones you have. Don't let them run loose. The burden to the few I know who are involved in rescue, including myself, is not only financial but emotional and physical. It is overwhelming. Rescue is draining many of our pocketbooks and our tolerance for the human race.

Abuse and neglect is rampant in this Valley. I'm not asking for your sympathy for us but for the many unwanted and uncared for pets. Step up to the plate and support your local Humane Society. Most pets rescued by myself and a couple of other independent rescuers in the Valley who do rescue end up being adopted out of the county for the simple reason people here think a $30-$40 adoption fee is too expensive. In San Diego the going rate is about $70.

The Humane Society is a non-profit organization. They DO NOT receive financial aid from any government agency. They run on your donations. If 50,000 people in the Imperial Valley donated $1 per month they would have a regular income of $50,000 a month. So please, every dollar counts!

I would like to personally thank Barbara Barros, Laurel Weare, Charlene and staff and all those who are committed to rescue. The list is short but without you many pets would never find a home where they are loved and cared for. My "hat" is off to you!

JULIE L. KOONS is from New Orleans but has been a Calexico resident for two years. She owns Canine Design by Julie in El Centro. She trains dogs, does behavior work with dogs, does dog grooming and works as a professional handler at dog shows. She is involved in rescue efforts and public education regarding dogs. She visits schools at no charge to educate students about dog ownership and disabled students in the Client Development Program visit her store to work with the dogs.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles