I'd like to publicly offer an apology to Richard Rosen from a Frankfort resident who is also a supporter of the quest for a relocated animal shelter here. I appreciate the Rosen family's willingness to initially pledge a donation of an incredible sum of money ($500,000) toward a badly needed improved animal shelter for my hometown. The pledge was contingent on the local governments also committing their shares of the costs for a relocated animal shelter.
I do not harbor the least bit of anger toward Rosen because I believe the withdrawal of the pledge was the correct thing to do. I'd like to think more people would agree with the action to withdraw their pledge if only the public had been able to read his statement provided to The State Journal prior to the newspaper's sensational coverage of the pledge withdraw. I think the paper's coverage inflamed the public and slanted perception of the donor's rationale for doing so. Perhaps if Rosen's reasons for his action had been printed immediately, there may have been fewer misunderstandings and angry letters.
I agree with Rosen that our elected officials — both city and county government — are not properly participating in the effort to relocate our animal shelter. Both bodies have neglected to commit funds toward the project. Neither entity seems to realize or appreciate the work of our Humane Society to fulfill the legal requirements that local governments must provide shelter services for stray and needy animals. Were it not for the efforts of the Franklin County Humane Society and their volunteers, I shudder to think of the animals that would be running the streets — starving and spreading disease and overpopulating our city and county.
The governments should be thankful for the work of our Humane Society and be more willing to find the money to relocate the shelter building to a larger, safer building with better access for the public who benefit from the services offered — low cost spaying and neutering and adoption opportunities for animals.
Thank you, Richard and Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen, for your generous offer and for highlighting some of the problems with our local governments. The needy animals and those of us in the community who care about them appreciate you.
Editor's note: Richard Rosen copied State Journal Publisher Steve Stewart, along with Mayor Bill May and Judge-Executive Huston Wells, on his email to Humane Society President Sam Marcus informing him of the decision to rescind the pledge. The State Journal, of course, wrote a news story about an extraordinary decision affecting an important institution in this community. The newspaper published within three publication days Mr. Rosen's subsequent guest commentary on his decision. It was prioritized only behind a guest column from Mr. Rosen's wife, who requested next-day publication of her submission on an unrelated topic.