To the Editor:
Thank you, Mr. Cook, for having the courage and integrity to admit your wrongdoing and to apologize to those who may have been hurt or offended. He is a kind and decent man whose emotions temporarily short-circuited his brain. It happens to all of us at one time or another.
In his letter, Cook says, “My frustration level reached a boiling point and I lashed out.” Well, guess what? He was not the only one whose emotions boiled over. During the alternative approval process (AAP) fiasco, a few very vocal opponents lashed out in anger, not just against the AAP, but also against the Pet Adoption and Welfare Society (PAWS). In the heat of the moment, things were said that were untrue, yet repeated often enough and angrily enough that some people have come to accept them as true.
Keep in mind that PAWS did not ask for the AAP, and PAWS has done nothing to deserve this attack on its character. For 17 years now, thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the organization has provided a valuable service to this community. Good will is the single most important requirement for its continued operation. And it is that good will that has taken a hit.
Recently, a downtown business owner told me she thought the destruction of the petitions was the worst thing to happen during this AAP debacle. I disagree. The AAP is now history. End of story. However, the unwarranted damage to PAWS’ reputation will take some time to repair.
There are many ways you can help to get PAWS back on its feet: become a PAWS member, become a volunteer, make a donation, participate in the pet therapy program for schools and senior centres, organize a fundraising event, attend the upcoming events. There will be Thanksgiving and Christmas bake sales at Extra Foods, an all-you-can-eat Ukrainian supper Nov. 9 at the Creston Valley Seniors Centre, Santa photos Dec. 1 at Morris Flowers Garden Centre, a Christmas gala banquet and dance Dec. 14 at the community complex, and also a Christmas raffle. There are more events planned for the new year, including a family-friendly comedy night (Raise the Woof) in March at Prince Charles Theatre. For tickets and details, call PAWS.
If you would like to learn more about PAWS and its services to the community, call 250-428-PAWS or visit www.paws-crestonbc.org. Better still, go down to the shelter. The volunteers are proud of their contributions to the community, and would be happy to answer your questions and give you a tour.