Hound hunting is cruel practice

Published 11:00 am Sunday, September 14, 2008

To the Editor:

While the issue of hunting with dogs has been in the news recently, much of the talk has been about property rights, rural traditionalism, and an “us against them” attitude against those who have moved to the area in recent years. But there is another side to the issue that exposes the practice of hunting with hounds to be cruel to the dogs and in need of total elimination without exception.

Come hunting season, veterinarians all over the country treat dogs who were worked to death while hunting, sometimes falling victim to conditions such as heat stroke with its symptoms of kidney failure and bloody diarrhea.

When the season runs concurrently with trapping season, hunting dogs risk running head-first into traps set by fur trappers targeting animals such as coyotes or foxes. For a hunting dog, every step taken could bring potential danger.

In addition to health concerns, there is the tragic reality that following every hunting season animal shelters and dog rescue organizations receive dogs who were either dumped by hunters after their usefulness to them has waned, or have wandered off during a hunt and were not retrieved by the hunter who set them loose. The luckiest of these dogs are adopted; those less fortunate (the majority of cases) are killed and disposed of.

Hunting with dogs is a dangerous activity that only points to a lack of skill on the part of the hunter. Nature can be enjoyed through traditional non-violent activities such as camping, hiking and wildlife watching, allowing hunting to slip off into extinction without any impact upon the way of life for the majority of Virginia residents.

To learn what you can do to help ban hunting with dogs and to help protect wildlife from those who would do them harm, please log on to www.AbolishSportHunting.com or www.wildwatch.org.

Joe Miele President

Committee to Abolish

Sport Hunting president

Las Cruces, NM