Browser the library cat brought worldwide notoriety to White Settlement last month after the City Council evicted him from his six-year gig as resident rodent-control expert and furry friend of child readers.
The council cited health and safety concerns, but rumors also buzzed about petty City Hall politics. After news outlets as far away as Britain, India and the United Arab Emirates covered the story and hundreds of White Settlement residents rebelled, the council decided to take another vote. The cat was allowed to stay.
Are pets in public buildings or workplaces right or wrong?
There’s a distinct difference between having a company mascot living on the premises and having a pet at work.
The cat at the library was a mascot. It belonged to everyone who frequented the facility and was not the personal pet of an employee.
Many companies allow employees to bring pets to work as a perk. The employee is totally responsible for the care, feeding and behavior of the animal. Visitors and patrons do not interact with them.
A mascot is shared by everyone. There is a designated “handler,” but the animal stays with the facility, even if the employee leaves the place of employment.
This particular mascot had a long history of success at the library.
It’s great that White Settlement now understands the difference between pet and mascot and has done the right thing.
Paulette Wagner, Hurst
If an animal has a role like the library cat, which catches mice, that’s fine. Same goes for comfort animals in nursing homes.
But I totally disagree with people who take their pets out.
I should not see a dog at the post office, lumberyard or grocery store. Pets belong in the comfort of your home.
I say this as the owner of three dogs and a cat.
Victoria Kemp, Cresson
Browser the library cat now has worldwide celebrity status, and rightfully so.
When White Settlement City Council members Elzie Clements and Paul Moore voted to make Browser expendable after six years of service as the official mouser and resident of the library, town folk and the media got into the fray and the cat became a cause celebre.
Browser won, and his six-year tenure has been permanently extended to lifetime.
Pets in public buildings and workplaces have a useful purpose. Some are service animals, others are mascots enjoyed by young and old. Animals have a calming effect, particularly on children.
The story made an excellent animal rights crusade.
Delores Cantrell, Fort Worth
Pets in the workplace are definitely wrong.
I love dogs but wouldn’t take my own dogs to work with me. They would be roaming around or wanting attention while I was trying to work. The workplace is for working!
What if they got into fights or attacked people or did their “business” on the floor?
What about people who are allergic to animals or afraid of them or just do not like animals?
Walter H. Delashmit, Justin