The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

May 13, 2012

Letters to the Editor 5/13/12



Brad Crowe


Photos wanted for archive

Dear Editor:

Members of the Tornado Remembrance and Awareness Committee of Limestone County were inspired to see so many tornado survivors and volunteers at an event to commemorate the April 27, 2011, tornadoes and introduce the design for a memorial to victims.

We particularly wanted to thank the deputies from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for ensuring overflow traffic was handled safely and to Spry Funeral Home for providing a tent.

As we continue with plans to build the memorial, we also are building a database of contact information for families of people killed by tornadoes in the history of Limestone County. If you know of anyone whose name needs to be included on this memorial, please call me at the Archives office weekdays at 256-233-6404 or call Kelly Kazek at The News Courier at 256-232-2720.

We also need to be able to notify family members when the memorial is ready to be dedicated, hopefully by this fall.

In addition, TRAC and the Limestone County Archives are creating a special tornado remembrance section of the archives. We’d like to include photos of damage or rescue operations from any past tornadoes and photos of those who were killed, as well as any written accounts or unusual items discovered after the storms.

While the April 3, 1974, tornado outbreak has been written about numerous times, few photos have been collected that tell the location where they were taken, or identifies any people shown.

Anyone who has information that will help with this project should call the numbers above or e-mail me at Thank you.


Rebekah Davis


Limestone County Archives

Low-cost clinics needed

Dear Editor: 

The Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, to the detriment of pets, pet owners, and rescuers, wants to eliminate low-cost spay/neuter clinics in our state.

You might ask, “Why would a veterinary organization do this, in a state with so many homeless animals killed every day?” Even more absurd is that the leader of this charge — Athens’ very own Dr. Robert E. Pitman (owner of Limestone Veterinary Clinic) — owns The Dog Pound, which kills homeless animals every week simply due to lack of space.

A typical spay/neuter surgery at a vet can cost up to $300. Clinics like the North Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic have offered — in a time of intense economic strife — an alternative that’s safe and less costly (from about $45 to $80). The spay/neuter clinics in Alabama are not full-service vet offices.

Patients at the clinics are altered and given a rabies vaccine if necessary, but further vet care must be handled by a regular vet.

A few facts about the clinics:

• The clinics have been given glowing reports of “excellent standards of care” after independent inspections;

• All surgeries are done by a state licensed veterinarian;

• Many who use these clinics would not have gotten their animal “fixed” without the low-cost option.

This legislative session, Rep. Patricia Todd introduced a bill, HB156, to protect the Alabama spay/neuter clinics and allow them to continue to operate as nonprofit entities in Alabama. The FTC has expressed support of HB156 saying it would allow “more competition and give pet owners other options and opportunities to have their animals sterilized at a reasonable price.”

And yet Pitman and the ASBVME continue to advocate against these clinics, to fellow vets and in the offices of state legislators in Montgomery.

I ask again: “Why would a veterinary organization do this, in a state with so many homeless animals killed every day?” Greed seems the only answer.

Right now your Alabama legislators, due to lobbying by ASBVME, are stalling on HB156 before this session comes to an end to try to kill the bill. Thankfully, next year the Legislature’s Sunset Committee will review the ASBVME and examine its history of interfering with progressive legislation that would improve the lives of animals and aid pet owners.

Join Alabama Voters for Responsible Legislation — it’s free! —

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