I'm happy to see Veterinary Medicine openly explore the many facets of animal welfare in the August 2006 issue. And I'd like to thank Dr. Rollin for a thought-provoking
opinion on animal welfare and the veterinary profession (Guest Commentary, "Now is the time to take a stand on animal welfare,"
August 2006). I agree with Dr. Rollin's viewpoint that veterinarians should "shoulder the burden of animal welfare in a consistent
and systematic way."
Pet overpopulation in the United States has several causes, but the veterinary profession is, I believe, a chief one. In general,
our profession supports the puppy mill-pet store trade, does not push spay or neuter aggressively enough, and has neglected
to address overpopulation as a united front and instead has allowed humane organizations to take the lead.
If a million dogs or cats were dying of a mysterious disease each year, you can bet our profession would be mobilized to determine
the cause and find a cure. Why aren't we equally concerned about the million (estimates vary) pets that are dying each year
in shelters and pounds? Could it be that our profession is only concerned about owned pets and not about the unowned ones? Does profit really outweigh compassion?
Donald K. Allen, MS, DVM
4501 Market St.
Youngstown, OH 44512