Valley Viewpoints

Help foster cats

Sometime on Wednesday, Jan. 22, with the temperature below zero, two declawed long-haired cats were abandoned on Route 104A.

They were found and taken into the Humane Society foster care, but if that had not happened they could not have survived. One was so badly matted she had to be taken to a groomer to be shaved down.

Yet they had been someone’s pet once — they were not only declawed, they had been spayed.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, with the temperature again below zero, a 9-month-old cat was found by two Hannibal teenagers when she was trying to find shelter in their garage.

She had almost no fur on her body, the result of a severe flea infestation and resulting skin infection. She too would have frozen to death had she not been found and given immediate medical attention.

These stories are not uncommon to the Humane Society — but this year we have seen a disturbing increase in the number of older cats that were obviously once someone’s pet being abandoned and essentially left to die.

This article, though, is not about the people who abandon their pets.  It’s about the people who save them by providing foster care for them until we can find them new, safe homes.

In 2013, the Humane Society  rescued and adopted out 332 cats.  These numbers are down slightly compared to the year before and we were pleased.

We felt the Humane Society’s spay/neuter clinic was finally having an impact on the problem of abandoned pets in our county. By the end of 2013 we had spayed/neutered 676 cats and 67 percent of those cats were from low-income families.

So we were hoping to start seeing a decrease in the number of cats needing rescue each year, and, in fact, there have been fewer litters of young kittens coming into foster care.

The problem now is this. These older cats, unlike cute fluffy kittens, typically stay in foster care for much longer until we find them homes. They may have health problems, they may have been traumatized by their time in the wild; but mostly they are just not cute and fluffy.

This reality is starting to put a strain on our foster families. If you look at our website, we have 46 cats listed for adoption and only one is a young kitten. Our foster homes are almost always full with these older cats that are harder to find homes for — not impossible, just harder.

We know if this continues we will not be able to rescue all those cats out there in the cold.

Can you help? Would you be willing to foster a cat or two. We are not asking for a long term commitment, just your help us get through the rest of the winter.

We provide the vet care, food and equipment if you need it. You provide a home and a second chance.

Please consider it. You will be amazed when you discover what a beautiful experience it is to save a life.

Go to our website at www.oswegohumane.org  to read more about the fostering program and for an application to fill out. If you have questions about fostering, call Barb at 343-2959.

Diane Broadwell

Animal Services Chair

 

Why do we pay tuition?

The Oswego County Legislature needs to explain why senior citizens have to pay tuition for college students through our property tax.

We are mandated by New York state to pay one-third of the cost of tuition for each student from our county attending community college, even though there is no Oswego County Community College. We are paying an 85 percent tax increase for Cayuga Community College and 19 percent for Jefferson Community College on our county taxes.

Can’t our legislature represent us and fight this excessive tax? I am sure our legislators will say what they always say — “there is nothing we can do.”

But people are losing their homes and property through foreclosures by the county treasurer’s office and re-sold at auction. This is a disgrace and should not happen because people are being overtaxes by state, county and federal governments.

Like many of my senior friends, I paid for children to go to school and to college — why should we pay again for other kids to go to college after we retire? It is getting so it’s a curse to own property because of our “tax and spend” government.

We are also taxed to pay for the state retirement fund so teachers and state employees and state politicians can retire with a tax pension. No one paid for my pension or for many others that I talk with.

My belief is when a person retires, it should be their golden years. What golden years? At 88 years old I am still paying college taxes, with not one red cent going to Oswego County — it all goes to Cayuga County. We are being hurt very badly and our representatives cannot see it.

We elect our legislators to look out for each and every citizen’s benefit, but it certainly isn’t working that way.

I would appreciate our county representatives to at last reply to this letter with some answers.

Rose Anthony

Fulton  

 

No more cigs at CVS

In recent news, CVS/Caremark has announced their plans to end all tobacco sales by October 1 of this year.

This is a huge step forward for public health. It has been a conflict of interest for pharmacies, providers of health care, to also profit from the sale of harmful products such as tobacco, known to cause cancer, heart and pulmonary diseases.

No doctor would prescribe tobacco so why would a pharmacy sell it? Selling tobacco products doesn’t fit a pharmacy’s mission of providing health products and services. In fact, reducing the availability of tobacco products helps people to quit.

CVS’s decision to remove tobacco products from their pharmacies is a step in the right direction to working together as a community to improve our residents’ health.

CVS is not the first pharmacy to recognize the importance of eliminating tobacco products in our local stores.

Did you know the overwhelming majority of independently owned pharmacies in Oswego County already don’t sell tobacco?  Many of the mom and pop pharmacies have chosen to put the health of our residents above a profit.

We thank the pharmacies that have made this decision to demonstrate their commitment for supporting the health of our community.

Further, we encourage all local pharmacies to consider their role as the neighborhood expert for improving health.

 

Abby Jenkins Wrolsen

Program Coordinator of the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County

 

Sub shop owners explain 

In November 2013, the Oswego Sub Shop was contacted by the United States Secret Service and identified as a possible common point of purchase of a credit card breach (hack).

They informed us that our computers may have been compromised resulting in the unauthorized use of customers’ credit card information.  We are currently working diligently, in full cooperation, with the United States Secret Service in finding the point of origin of this possible breach.

We have replaced all hard drives in our Point of Sale terminals and hired experts in PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance to ensure that our system is and will remain secure to the highest degree.

Information received thus far indicates that the possible compromise of this information may have been accomplished via an unauthorized EXTERNAL breach.  It is also important to understand that this is NOT an “internal investigation,” as it has been speculated in social media outlets, but rather a much larger investigation and scope.

Oswego Police Chief Tory DeCaire said “The Management of the Oswego Sub Shop has fully cooperated in this investigation and, at this point, there is no reason to believe that the customers of the Oswego Sub Shop are at any greater risk than those at any other business that allows electronic transactions.”

We assure you that nothing was or is more important than keeping our customer’s payment card data secure. We have taken this matter very seriously, and fully understand and apologize for any stress or inconvenience that it may have caused you and your family.

It is important to understand that this is an “ongoing investigation” and the local, regional and national law enforcement agencies are taking this situation very seriously, along with similar fraudulent activity reports seen recently at national retailers including Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels and others.

We want to thank you for your patience, understanding and continued loyalty during this investigation.  Please do not hesitate to contact us personally with any questions regarding this matter.

 

Sincerely, 

Bill and Kathy Greene,

Owners, Oswego Sub Shop

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