Letter to the Editor: Critical pet issues

Our state is one of the worst for allowing appalling puppy mills to flourish within our borders (see Iowa Capital Dispatch, Kauffman article, Feb. 7). With inadequate regulations and monitoring due to lack of funding, numerous adult dogs suffer in small cages with little care during their entire productive lives, often dying in the process. There is no conscionable reason why this should be allowed in our state.

Recently concerned citizens have come up with solutions that could help solve multiple pet issues simultaneously in our communities.

Proposals: having an “annual pet tax” of $8.50 for each and every pet owned, this escalating to $20 for each unspayed or unneutered dog and cat, and with absolutely no exceptions for registered kennels or horrific puppy mills. In addition, every domestic animal owned or possessed be registered with the Department of Agriculture through an online registration to serve during emergencies for re-uniting animals with owners or caregivers. And very important, that income from these designated taxes be directed back to local animal shelters and humane societies that are so often under-funded and over-burdened with discarded or lost pets.

Having compassionate congresspersons to support this in Iowa would be incredibly refreshing.

Mary McBee