Kennel discussion is a community issue

Published: 5/7/2021 6:59:50 PM There is agreement that creating an animal shelter in Northampton is a needed facility but would hav...



Published: 5/7/2021 6:59:50 PM

There is agreement that creating an animal shelter in Northampton is a needed facility but would have a negative impact on neighbors. This could be remediated by having a design that creates a nurturing homelike environment so the animals don’t bark to relieve stress.

A live-in animal caretaker could provide loving, experienced care for animals, work with neighbors, help animal owners, etc. Perhaps a housing stipend could offset some of the cost. According to a recent Gazette article, the Policing Review Commission recommended that all animal-related calls should be handled by animal control personnel. But the mayor says that hiring sufficient staff would require a significant allocation of resources. Accordingly, he implies, we should continue to use the police department for animal control.

But it isn’t just animal control — this is the second neighborhood that is unhappy with the shelter location, so it’s a community issue. Having an abolitionist vision is another alternative; instead of a “call the police” mentality, we believe that we have the means, desire, creativity, expertise, and compassion to create other solutions — ones that can be less expensive, reduce harm instead of causing it, and create connections instead of indifference.

The police hold us hostage; demanding huge sums of money and claiming that they are the only ones who can “protect” us and solve all our problems, but in fact, the policing system costs us far too much, not just in money, or in their own crimes against us, but in robbing us of our ability to come up with caring, community-based solutions. We can surely do this.

Rachel Telushkin

Easthampton



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Newsrust - US Top News: Kennel discussion is a community issue
Kennel discussion is a community issue
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