Letters to the Editor

Squirrels left out in the cold at USF

Last month, when it was so bitterly cold, USF workers on ladders removed palm fronds from the trees — in an extreme fashion. I asked them if they did not discover many frogs and other creatures seeking comfort from the cold.

They replied that there were a great number of squirrel nests – with babies inside — now left open to the wind, rain and cold. “Must you remove their protection now?” I asked. They said — unfortunately — this is the only time they have to do so, as “the rest of the year we mow.”

I believe not every matter can come down to time utility, but that some compassion ought to figure in to the scheduling of landscape maintenance. Taking away their only cover, after the squirrels have built their nests counting on that cover, is cruel. It also exposes the babies to hawk predation, cold dew, lights and noise.

Please amend your practices.

Louise Raterman is a senior majoring in environmental science and policy.

Pets not a disposable commodity

I was on campus on Sunday afternoon and witnessed three people I believe to be students attempting to capture a domestic floppy-eared rabbit near the Theatre building. I joined the rescue efforts and together we were successful in capturing this beautiful, frightened rabbit. It is totally beyond me that people have no shame, no conscience that they dump domestic animals on this campus. If these abandoned animals are among the lucky, someone will rescue them, but can’t you just imagine the fear and confusion the animal must experience first?

Last year two students found two tiny kittens in the parking garage — both had been hit by one or more cars. One survived and was placed in a loving home. The other died of horrible injuries.

Not far from where they were found I discovered the box they had managed to escape from — dumped like trash.

Please, please, if you cannot keep the pet or its offspring for whatever reason, don’t dump it to fend for itself. Pets are a lifelong commitment and we owe it to them not to regard them as disposable commodities. Call your veterinarian or the Humane Society or Animal Services to get a referral to one of the many, many rescue organizations in the Tampa area.

Sharon L. Smith is a coordinator for faculty recruitment and development in the College of Arts and Sciences.