Who will mourn the countless numbers of companion animals who die each day,
In overcrowded shelters bursting at the seams,
On our streets, abandoned, unwanted,
In homes and yards, neglected, unloved, underfed, kicked and beaten,
In dog fighting rings, with no medical care, and only ever knowing cruelty,
In puppy mills, in the name of profit?
Who mourns for them?
Two stories in the news this week hurt my heart: one was about an adorable young pit bull who was turned in to the animal shelter where I work. He had open wounds covering his head, face, and neck; investigators determined that the wounds were consistent with his being used as a bait dog to train dogs for fighting. We took him in, treated his wounds, and assessed him for adoptability. He is a very sweet, loving, dog with a submissive personality; gets along very well with everyone and every dog he was in contact with at the kennels. Submissive dogs are sought after to be bait dogs; they don’t kill the dogs in training. This story had a happy ending; he found a forever home with a wonderful family who were happy to adopt him. Here is a story about him from our local newspaper: http://tucsoncitizen.com/tucson-tails/2012/01/26/tucson-bait-dogs-for-adoption/
The other story does not have a happy ending. Animal rescue owners in Alabama abandoned the kennel and all the animals that were there – no food or water – for over a week. Many of the animals died, some of those who survived did so by cannibalism. The kennel owners have been arrested, but nothing can make up for what they did. Here’s a link to the story: http://blog.al.com/live/2012/01/20_dogs_and_1_cat_found_dead_a.html
The last story I saw puts the count at 45 animals dead.
Our society is sick. The saying goes that we can judge what kind of society it is by how they treat the weakest among them. What does this say about our society when people refuse to spay or neuter their companion animals? When people think dogfighting is perfectly fine? When just dropping off an animal in the desert is okay once they can’t or don’t want to care for him or her any more? When drowning kittens and puppies is an alternative to spaying their female dog or cat? When letting an animal roam free, in a city, is okay?
My heart hurts for these defenseless creatures.