Mothers deserve protection

Yesterday, a canvasser showed up at my house to discuss pregnancy and breastfeeding accommodations for women in the workplace. I learned that despite South Dakota having the highest percentage of working moms in the nation, we still have few protections for them in the workplace.

In the service industry, employers might not adjust work policies for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. If a pregnant woman requires more bathroom breaks, an employer might refuse her during “peak hours.” Also, workplaces aren’t required to guarantee a clean, safe place for breastfeeding mothers to pump.

I am horrified this state, a place I have always known to be pro-family, still punishes pregnant women and relegates breastfeeding mothers to dirty bathroom stalls. Why are we punishing hardworking S.D. families?

Remember last year when a bill addressing these very issues got shot down by a committee of all male legislators, most business owners? We deserve better leadership from our elected legislature than a bunch of men making decisions that protect their businesses over their constituents. Shame on them.

Most of all, though, shame on us if we don’t support legislation that makes the workplace more woman- and family-friendly. We support families in S.D., let’s act like it.

Lesleigh Owen

Rapid City

Inhumane to discard cats

Getting calls about cats dumped on country roads is nothing new for us. However, a woman on one of these dumping ground roads outside of Rapid City called last week to tell us of two kittens, one of which wandered into her garage on June 9 wearing a collar. Kind folks who couldn’t turn away a hungry kitten, they took her in. To their surprise, a month later a second kitten the same age and color, dirty and thin, limped into their yard on three legs, one of her front legs hooked inside a collar that had cut into and was embedded in the pit of the kitten’s leg.

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While it is difficult to find homes for cats, blithely dumping them off to starve should never be an option. And please, if you feel the need to collar your cat, only use break-away collars.

If everyone who adopted a kitten or cat had it fixed, fewer cats would end up dumped. The Coalition and several other groups around the Hills can help with the cost of altering pets. Please do the right thing — the kind thing — for your pet.

Donna Watson

Deadwood

S.D. West River Spay/Neuter

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