20 December 2003

A Letter to The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "Middle Ground on Dogs" (editorial, Dec. 13):

When the World Trade Center fell, dogs (over the New York City Housing Authority's 40-pound maximum, which you support) cut their feet on shards of glass and crawled through unstable debris, risking their lives to search for victims. Dogs sniffing for explosives protect the lives of airline passengers. When a plane crashes, dogs crawl through twisted metal searching for survivors; as passengers, these dogs are required to travel as baggage.

Dogs sniff out drugs; in Iraq, dogs risk their lives sniffing out land mines. They guard and warn of fire. When someone is missing, dogs search for clues while humans helplessly tag along. Dogs provide eyes and ears for the disabled.

Most of all, dogs provide humans with a unique and valuable gift—unconditional love. Let's stop merely exploiting dogs and give them the respect and honor they deserve.

New York, Dec. 14, 2003