From Left Field

    Uh oh, lock the doors. Pull the curtains. Turn out the lights and turn off the TV. Hide the women and children. Here comes a Girl Scout up the sidewalk!
    She'll probably want to sell us those cookies, and she'll give her nose a tweak with the thumb — you know, mobster style — and say, "You don't have to buy buddy, but..."
    Hey, who knows, she might be packin' a piece. She looks at least 10 years old. She's wearin' that funny outfit, too, a uniform ... maybe a military uniform! And look at all those badges on the sash. Probably like notches on a gun. And you can bet that's not gum she's chewin' but a big, fat chaw of tubacky.
    Just be thankful she's alone; you hear they often run in gangs — street gangs.
    And ... well, the above can't be any more absurd than that goofball lawmaker in Fort Wayne, State Rep. Bob Morris who recently unleashed a diatribe against the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts, for stinkin', cryin' out loud! Is there nothing sacred any more to these goofies who populate our society?
    This wasn't Morris' first run off the beaten path.  In 2010, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette said, with lawmakers needing to rescue the state’s unemployment fund, Morris said, “I’m not sure why unemployment insurance was ever put into effect.”
    One can laugh off this goofy Morris, but in some ways he's too typical. A person reads something on the Internet, believes it to be true, and goes off firing away. There are others out there who, like Morris, believe the Girl Scouts are subversive, support abortion and sexual freedom and the like. If you read it on the Internet, it's got to be true — right?
The shelter blitz
    We have a similar example going on right now in Adams County. Some people go to a meeting, unleash all sorts of allegations against the county animal shelter, then many other people take it as absolute truth and begin jumping on the bandwagon.
    Do you know the allegations to be fact? Did you investigate for yourself? Or did you just read it, believe it, then starting firing away? Maybe the allegations are true. Maybe they are not.
    Information from the Adams County Health Department shows that it makes unannounced inspections at the shelter ... and find no serious violations, or any violations.
    A February 26, 2010, report to the county commissioners which is signed by department head Terry R. Smith, concludes, "...the Bowers (Charley and Carol Bowers, husband and wife who have operated the shelter for a number of years) are abiding by the terms of their contract with the county and doing a good job in running the shelter."
    An April 18, 2011, report by inspector Richard Thompson of the health department said, "Shelter is well kept at all times. Clean and shows people just how it can (be) and is to run. Such a well maintained division of the (sic) Adams County. I'm proud to be the inspector that inspects this property!"
    Just last December 28, Thompson wrote: "When I arrived, I observed a building that houses the animals in good shape and they had recently been fed for the day. Animals — just dogs of all sorts — and (1) cat were all that were presently housed there. The floor of the animal building had just been cleaned and animals fed.
    "The Bowers, Charlie and Carol, have a real love for these animals, that is for sure."
    After all the recent furor hit the newspaper and airwaves, Thompson inspected the shelter on Thursday, February 23, just over a week ago. In his report was this:
    "Both cats and dogs were or seemed to be happy and very well cared for. Cages were quite clean. Floor was clear of any feces and water bowls were all full of water. A few cages had urine on the floor, but not bad, as cages are all cleaned out etc. in mid-morning inspection. All cages are checked for fresh water, as they are also cleaned again around 7:00 p.m., or very close to that time.
    "Custodians Carol & Charlie  Bowers have cared for these animals with a lot of TLC (editor: tender, loving care) for many years. Keep up the good work, referencing caring for these animals!"
    Now the desire for a no-kill shelter is one thing, and so are hopes that all animals brought to the shelter are adopted. But to allege that animals at the shelter  are being kept in inhumane and unsanitary conditions ... well, if that's so, then someone certainly is fooling Thompson.