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Opening Arguments

Spoiling it for everybody

Further proof of one regrettable but unavoidable fact of human nature: Bad people will take advantage of good efforts, leaving us to decide whether the good efforts are worth it:

Bristol -- A Northern Indiana animal shelter says it is closing boxes that allowed people to drop off stray animals after hours because the system was being abused.

Humane Society of Elkhart County officials say they have found mistreated animals in the shelter's nine night deposit boxes, along with family pets left so their owners could avoid paying the $20 intake fee. Some animals were from outside Elkhart County.

About 40 percent of the shelter's intake came from animals left in the drop boxes, they said.

The boxes became a breeding ground for diseases such as parvovirus and feline leukemia.

"It has gotten to the point where people were dumping off animals at night like garbage or abandoning them with no concern for their well-being," Humane Society President Stephanie Krol told The Elkhart Truth. "This is not humane."

I don't think it's an either/or thing. Sometimes, as here, it might be decided that the abuses outweigh the good of the service provided. And sometimes the good deed might be seen as so beneficial that's it worth whatever time, effort and money it takes to mitigate the misuse. I do think we've tended to err in the latter direction in recent years, but that shouldn't be a factor in any individual decision.

Posted in: Hoosier lore