Desert Companion

We would have saved the rooster

We would have saved the rooster

Editor’s note: The Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would not have euthanized a rooster given to the organization. This fact was incorrect in an article (“Gives you wings,” August 2011). Desert Companion regrets the error. Below, Nevada SPCA Executive Director Doug Duke responds.

David McKee’s otherwise touching account of saving a hard-luck rooster named Plucky contains an erroneous statement that grossly misrepresents Nevada SPCA’s no-kill mission and our deeply held conviction that every life is precious.

McKee states that our organization would have euthanized his rooster “on sight” and “charge(d) us for the privilege of murdering our new friend.” These assertions are absolutely and demonstrably false. In fact, Nevada SPCA’s no-kill shelter regularly rescues chickens, roosters, turkeys, peacocks and many other species, and has done so for years. What’s more, a substantial percentage of our annual operating budget is dedicated to rehabilitating injured animals, including many who other rescue organizations or government-run shelters would not be able or willing to save.

To be clear, every animal who finds his or her way to our facility is given not just food and shelter, but also appropriate medical care and the attention of a highly committed staff. We receive no government funding or money from national groups; our operating revenue is provided exclusively by generous donors who make their donations directly to Nevada SPCA. This independence provides us with the discretion to do whatever is necessary to save the dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, pigs, goats, sheep and, yes, roosters that turn up at, or are turned in to, Nevada SPCA.

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 It is vitally important to all of us at Nevada SPCA that Desert Companion readers — many of whom are also our supporters — know the truth about our approach to animal rescue, and understand that Mr. McKee’s statement was made in error and without contacting the Nevada SPCA directly to see if we could help the rooster. I appreciate this opportunity to set the record straight.

Doug Duke,  Executive Director, Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


What about  emergency docs?

As an emergency medicine physician working at a number of the valley’s community hospitals, I was very disappointed to see that our specialty was excluded from your “Top Doctors” issue. As you know, Las Vegas has been hit especially hard by the recent recession. As a result, many of our patients are unemployed and have nowhere else to turn for their medical care. Emergency physicians work tirelessly to serve the Las Vegas community and communities beyond ours. In addition to treating the sickest and most critical of patients, we are also providing primary care to a large percentage of the population. We work when others are sleeping, ensuring that the community has a physician at any time.

Our skills and range of services are broad; we must recognize and treat anything and anyone who walks into our emergency departments. Our specialty is unglamorous, and most of us like it that way. Nonetheless, I find it difficult to accept exclusion from your list when we represent such a pivotal part in our community’s health care.

Dr. Salah Baydoun


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