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March 8, 2012
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Romney wasting money on campaign

Mitt Romney has bragged about being a super-smart businessman. He has created businesses and saved failing ones. So why would someone so savvy about money spend 50 to 75 times more money on a campaign than he could make on the job as President? To me, that’s power and dollars, but no sense. How can he be elected with just that premise to look at? He hasn’t told me much more in all the debates.

Alan Kinsey

West Des Moines


Pets after death

In a recent cover story (“Pets After Death,” Feb. 23) Amber Williams stated, “All things eventually die — one way or another. Death. It’s a hard fact of life. It’s so sensitive of a subject, in fact, that some folks in the animal industry, such as shelters, veterinary clinics and animal testing facilities, are sometimes reluctant to divulge the unsavory details of their business if they are not required by law.”

Iowa state law requires city pounds to report intake and disposition of stray pets. ARL Iowa operates the Des Moines city pound under contract, and both ARL Iowa and the city of Des Moines refuse to comply with the law and will not report how many stray pets are returned home, killed, and so on. One interesting fact, the contract between the city and ARL Iowa requires all unclaimed stray pets to be turned over to ARL Iowa. The city simply will not transfer pets to other licensed animal welfare groups.

In my research, I discovered that the current Chief Humane Officer for the city previously sold live, stray pets from the pound to research facilities. Once ARL Iowa took over management, the city stopped disclosing what happens to stray pets, though it claimed to have stopped these research sales.

It’s clear from the contract that most pets are transferred to ARL Iowa, but the city and ARL Iowa refuse to disclose specific numbers, as required by law.

Erich Riesenberg

Des Moines

Editor’s note: In response to this letter, the ARL of Iowa said they are required to keep records of animals the shelter receives for the Iowa Department of Agriculture, but the Attorney General does not consider that public information. They also hold that “the ARL has not ever and will not ever sell or give live animals to research facilities,” which was also confirmed by United States Department of Agriculture and veterinary science animal testing clinics in Ames.

Correction: Last week in the Best Of issue (“Jackpot!” March 1) we mistakenly listed the winner of “Best Party Event Transportation.” The actual winner was Absolute Transportation, 1-800-712-8518, http://www.absolutetransportation.org.


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