To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing the beautiful piece Ms. Gatton wrote about her foster dog Khal. (Viewpoint: There’s nothing special about this absolutely amazing pup.) It’s folks like her that make the world a better place.

Please allow me to opine on this column. Ms. Gatton mentioned that Khal was within hours of being euthanized. Why do we call this practice euthanization? Ending a healthy animal’s life is not euthanization. Euthanization is an act of compassion. Killing a healthy animal is just that — killing it; not euthanizing it.

Our country kills millions of healthy animals each year due to the overpopulation of dogs and cats. The failure of an animal owner to get their pet spayed or neutered is part of the reason. Some folks who are thinking about a acquiring a new dog often look to breed specific or so-called designer dogs. This is certainly within their right. I just ask them to think about the dog that was killed because of their purchase of an animal from a breeder or a pet store.

I drive throughout Iredell County daily and see dozens of dogs tethered to a tree or kept in an enclosure with barely enough room to stretch. Why would anyone want a “companion animal” who spends its life at the end of a chain or is never let out of its dog cell for a walk?

Ms. Gatton’s act is an act of compassion, and I believe that when it’s her time to be judged, there will be a special place waiting. God bless you and all who speak for those who can’t.

Dan Hester

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