To the editor: Betty Brink’s article (“Cash-Trapped,” Dec. 9, 2009), about the malignant leeches who prey on others’ misfortunes with their pawn and payday lenders’ machinations, came at an appropriate time, right before Christmas. Even banks don’t have the privilege of charging the astronomical “fees” that these businesses charge their customers.

Fort Worth City Council member Kathleen Hicks is a godsend to her constituents, as is State Sen. Wendy Davis, with their continuing efforts to pass legislation to regulate pawn and payday lenders.

To charge someone $1,500 for a $300 loan because of the “fee” attached is tantamount to robbery, but the lenders found a loophole in the law: Register as a “credit service organization,” pay the $100 yearly fee to the secretary of state, and avoid usury laws because they supposedly help folks clean up their credit and get out of debt – without being regulated. If that don’t peel the skin off a snake!


Thanks for this investigative reporting, Ms. Brink.

Rex Cantrell

Fort Worth

Clean Up the Puppy Mills

To the editor: Sara Perry’s article (“Breeding Trouble,” Dec. 30, 2009) was a must-read expose about puppy mills and legislative standards, licensing, and inspections that are needed to govern these assembly-line breeders.

It’s all about the pursuit of the almighty buck at the expense of the animals. These people are overbreeding their stock just to satisfy their greed. The pet stores are nearly as culpable, as enablers, selling dogs and cats in volume just to keep the current flowing down the avenue of revenue.

We in Texas need to wake up and smell the coffee and enact legislation to regulate these commercial breeders and set up safeguards that protect the animals’ rights too. The reluctance of Texas to pass such legislation speaks volumes about the mentality of veterinarians and others who lobbied against passage of House Bill 3180.

We have wide-ranging legislation, with harsh penalties, against child abuse and mistreatment. Can’t we afford the same protection for “man’s best friend”?

Seneca Maskell

Fort Worth

To the editor: Sara Perry’s article brings the industry of puppy mills back into the limelight, as it should be. Texas needs to quit depending on the Humane Society to do the heavy lifting; we should pass legislation to prevent abuse of animals subjected to commercial breeding facilities and overbreeding solely for monetary gain. The USDA’s jurisdiction should also be expanded to inspect retail pet stores.

This story shows that our state needs to regulate dog breeding operations, as we are one of only a handful of states without such laws. If it weren’t for the Humane Society and folks like Tammy Hawley and Tammy Roberts, animals would suffer even more and be even more likely to become fatalities of the puppy mill trade.

Legislators have been reluctant to enact such laws because of lobbying efforts. They need to vote with their hearts, not according to the whims of people who don’t give a damn about animals but just themselves and their wallets.

Marcie Orton

Fort Worth


The Dec. 30, 2009, cover story, “Breeding Trouble,” erroneously stated that the Humane Society of the United States had filed suit against the Petland chain of pet supply stores. In fact, the suit was filed by individual Humane Society members who were customers of Petland. They are being represented by the Humane Society. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error.