January 25 Letters to the Editor

Illustration by Crowcrumbs.

Dear Editor,

For the past several years, the unwanted dogs and cats of our area have found a second chance at life by being transported to other shelters in other states. 

Unfortunately, because these other places have become saturated with our overflow of animals, this option is slowing down. The result is that many West Texas shelters are now going back to the three-day rule: after three days, it’s an automatic death sentence for the dog or cat. Puppies and kittens are also being killed. “Euthanasia” is defined as humanely killing, and hardly applies here as there is nothing humane about the routine killing of innocent dogs and cats and puppies and kittens.

A couple of years ago, Jeanine Bishop of the Alpine Humane Society and the West Texas Rescue Coalition created and sponsored 15 low-cost spay and neuter clinics. It was an incredibly promising project for our region; the community stepped up and took advantage of the opportunity by doing the right thing by spaying and neutering their pets. Then the money ran out, and the clinics were stopped.

It is expensive and time consuming to neuter one’s animal with our limited resources in West Texas. But seven accidental puppies in the backyard now equate to seven other puppies being killed in a cold and dank shelter. This is a graphic and depressing reality, but it is necessary to know it. The shelters are full; the rescuers are worn out. The options for saving the lives of our unwanted and excess pets are disappearing.

PLEASE do the right thing and take responsibility for your own animals.

PLEASE spay and neuter before any more unwanted animals are born.

PLEASE do not adopt a puppy or kitten unless you can make this commitment.

Mary Baxter

Marfa, Texas


Dear Fort Davis Community,

Happy New Year! We hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits as we move into an exciting 2024. We are delighted to introduce ourselves as the new leadership team of the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Manny Dutchover has been elected as board president, and Pam Knapen has joined as the executive director. Together, along with our dedicated board members, we are committed to serving and enhancing Fort Davis.

We would like to take a moment to introduce the individuals who make up our executive board: Jeremy Bentley as vice president, Teznie Pugh as treasurer, and Deanna Hebert as secretary. Each member brings a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted passion for our community. We are grateful for their dedication and look forward to working closely with them. In addition to our executive board, we are privileged to have a diverse board of community and business leaders who have graciously accepted the responsibility of serving Fort Davis.

They are Myra Meads, Matt Blackman, Tim Roberts, Amanda Dyer, Jennifer Whitesell, Audrey Hurley, Suzan Moreland, James Smith, Matthew Walker, Velvet Hartnett and Locke Ann McIvor. Their expertise and commitment will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and prosperity of Fort Davis.

Please join us at our upcoming Open House, scheduled for Monday, January 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. This event will provide an excellent opportunity for you to get acquainted with our board, learn about our initiatives and enjoy cocktails and light refreshments. We have been working diligently on revitalizing our office and branding, creating a warm and welcoming space that reflects the spirit of Fort Davis. We cannot wait to share our fresh new look with you.

Among other improvements, we are excited to announce our upcoming website, which will serve as an invaluable tool in promoting local businesses, area tourism, and events. Our goal is to create a dynamic online platform that showcases the beauty and uniqueness of Fort Davis, attracting visitors from near and far. The website will feature comprehensive listings of local businesses, highlight attractions and landmarks, provide a calendar of events, and offer resources for both residents and tourists. Stay tuned for its launch, as it promises to be a game-changer for our community.

This year, we are also thrilled to present a lineup of annual events that will be nothing short of spectacular. From The Coolest 4th celebration to the Doug Moreland and Family Barn Dance, movies on the lawn, the fall Moon and Tune Festival, and the grand finale Frontier Christmas and Chamber Gala, there will be no shortage of excitement and entertainment. These events will not only bring our community together but also attract visitors, boosting our local economy and fostering a sense of camaraderie among residents and businesses alike. We encourage you to mark these dates on your calendar and join us in creating unforgettable memories together.

Fort Davis holds a special place in our hearts. The sense of community, the remarkable people, and the unparalleled beauty of our town make it a true gem. As the Chamber of Commerce, it is our responsibility and privilege to welcome visitors and share all that Fort Davis has to offer. However, we cannot do it alone. We need your support and involvement to continue moving forward. Whether you are a business owner, a resident, or a passionate community member, we invite you to join us in supporting the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce. By becoming a member, you contribute to the growth and vitality of our town, helping us create a thriving community for everyone.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or simply want to lend a helping hand, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of our Board. We are here to assist you and work together in making Fort Davis an even better place to live, work, and visit.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we look forward to a prosperous and fulfilling year ahead.

Warmest regards,

Manny Dutchover, President 

Pam Knapen, Executive Director 

Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center