Thursday, September 25, 2014

Who Will Speak Up for the Homeless and helpless on four paws if we don't?

 I’m an animal lover and advocate from way back when. I’ve loved animals all my life and even once wanted to be a veterinarian. I even went as far as studying agriculture in high school and getting a certificate in animal science, but the thought of all that math and science changed my mind. Whenever I pet my dog or cat’s head, I wonder what goes through the minds of those that dump, or harm an animal. Why? Why do such a thing? How can you do that? What kind of evil, sick and twisted individual one must be to do such a horrible thing? If you or I was to treat another human in this manner, we would be arrested, charged and sent to prison.  Not so with animals. Animals ask nothing from us. They want nothing. They have no voice. Out of loyalty, they’ll stay near the side of their owner until they die on the spot. Why then are people so mean and selfless in treating them the way they do? The horror is so rampant that mistreating an animal is now a felony in all fifty states. It’s about time and way too late. What does that mean? It means that if you or I witness any animal cruelty we should report it to local enforcement agency and follow that charge through so that the criminal gets the maximum punishment. I, for one have no problem doing so. Don’t accost the abuser, if you don’t have to. Write down their license plate number. Get the make and model of the car. Take a photo of them from a safe distance, especially if it’s of them harming/killing an animal. Call law enforcement right away and follow it through. You don’t even have to get involved, if you don’t want to, but please, please make the report. It’s the only right thing to do.

(My boy was a rescue. He survived a house where the husband beat the wife, and most likely him too. She surrendered him and two other dogs to a rescue and left her husband.)
     I moved down to the southern part of the United States a few years ago and love the beauty of it. I learned that the south is different than the North in a great many ways. One way that I can't tolerate is how animals are treated, which prompts me to ask, who exactly speaks up for animals? Who cares? In the city I reside, evidently not enough and to those that do, on behalf of all animals, I say thank you. It is obvious in more ways than one that many in the south do not care about anything or anyone else so why should they care about animals? Not all, but enough to make it a huge problem. I live in a small city where trash that is tossed alongside the roads and around the dumpsters. No one goes to city or country meetings. Street signs in both the city and county are illegible; ditches and roads are crumbling. The new Mayor drives while intoxicated and nothing happens. It's shoved under the rug. Members of the County Board of Supervisors fight with one another during public meetings. The Mayor and Chamber of Commerce can't get along, which prompts the Chamber to relocate. The Mayor, it seems is a bully. One alderman worries about too many beer signs while the city has an ordinance in place to keep local restaurants from selling carry out cold items for fear of a lawsuit against the restaurant? How ridiculous can things get? Frankly, I don't care about the town and its politics. What I care about are the animals that are abused, abandoned, tortured and murdered, which leads me to repeat my question, who will speak up for the homeless and helpless on four paws if we don't?   Most towns don't care about the endless amount of dogs and cats that are thrown away, discarded like trash and worse. Certainly, not down south. A week ago, a young female pit bull was found by a neighbor tossed behind and left to die. The poor, helpless dog was shot in the head with the bullet coming out of her eye. Obviously, she was left to die. Fortunately, she was found and taken for medical care and now has a forever home. I can't believe how often this kind of thing happens in my small city; how often it happens everywhere in the world. A few days later I drove by another dumpster to look for wounded/homeless animals and found two dead, stiff carcasses of black dogs tossed away on top of one another behind the dumpsters. I was saddened, angry, and sickened to my stomach, and the sight of it is with me still.
    A word of advice to those who no longer want their pet: Don't abandon them in the country or anywhere else. There are a number of animal rescue shelters located throughout the U.S, Canada, and abroad that would be glad to make accommodations for the animal you no longer want rather than finding your dog, cat, horse, whatever on the road, starving to death or worse. You don't have to make a donation, but it should would help. You can also let your friends, co-workers and neighbors know that you're looking for a new home for your pet There is no reason to abandon your pet. Pets, and horses, goats, whatever the animal that were loved can not survive on their own in the wild very long. They are not wild animals and will eventually succumb to starvation, getting hit by a car, shot or something else such as torture. Need to locate a shelter?  try
    Cats you may find around dumpster may be feral cats and can not, should not be taken to a shelter. Kittens can, but not adult cats. Feral cats taken to an animal shelter will be euthanized because they can not live indoors. They're not used to it. Trap Neuter Return for them is a much better plan. For guidance in taking care of feral cats, or what you may think is a feral cat, please call Alley Cat Allies at Phone: 240-482-1980, Fax: 240-482-1990, or check out their website   for guidance.

(My girl was another rescue from a kill shelter in Colorado twenty years ago.)

    I write this post and began this blog to speak up for those that have no voice and cause no harm.  I never knew that such heartlessness and cruelty existed in such a beautiful town. I’m from New York and thought I saw and heard it all and where I expect things like this, but not where I now live. re. I found a beautiful story in a local newspaper that is both touching and accurate and written by an animal lover from an abandoned  dog’s point of view and I think it says it best. It touched me and broke my heart and I'd like to share it with you below. I’ve rescued/adopted 12 dogs and cats during my lifetime and wish I could save them all.  I proudly support a number of animal shelters and charities in order to make a difference. I would like to do more. I’ll be driving around and checking around dumpsters and try and rescue those that need help in my area. Should I catch anyone harming an animal, I will ensure they are arrested and hope you will too. We can fix this problem by working together, and speaking up for those that don’t have a choice or a voice, but as with anything, it will be a long haul. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any other way to start than to simply begin. Who will speak up for the animals if we don't?
     Thank you for stopping by and reading this post. Perhaps, you can help out in your area with rescuing an animal or making a donation to a local rescue shelter. Please feel free to leave a comment and share this post with others.
    Until next time, read on for the tale written from an abandoned dog's point of view. I hope it touches you and moves you into some kind of action, as it did me:
    Sentenced: A story by Cat Tails and Waggin Tails:
     I don't know when I became unwanted, maybe my owners decided I wasn't so cute and cuddly anymore, or that I eat to much or maybe
    It's because of my current predicament due to their negligence in not getting me neutered.
    Anyway I'm here and unwanted. What to do with me? They could make the effort to find me a forever home. NAH, that would be too much like right.
    They could drive to the big city and take me to the local animal rescue group. But that would cost gas and their time plus those folks at the shelter might want a donation. Then a flash of brilliant stupid strikes...let's take me to the country and drop me off.
    I will have plenty to eat like the farmer's chickens and goats. Besides they know how much I like to go for a ride in the truck. It would be a family outing. Their treat! But where in the country?
     Another epiphany! The Dumpsters.  There's plenty of food there and someone might even want me. Like a dog fighting ring. Now which Dumpster has the best smorgasbord? Some of those folks who use those dumpsters are either blind or drunk, they just can't seem to get their garbage in that big opening on the Dumpster.
    And in deer season, those proud hunters just throw those bloody carcasses all over the ground.
    Who could ask for more! After congratulating themselves on their genius plan, they grab a couple of six packs, pile in the truck and off we go.
     At last we arrive. I jump out to explore and they drive off. Wait! Wait for me! You forgot me! I run after them until I am exhausted.
    They probably just went after more beer, they'll be back to get me. I return to the Dumpsters, plenty of friends. Let's see I count seven dogs and nineteen cats. They say they have been here awhile and as evening comes a sad realization begins to creep over all of us. We are not wanted and no one is coming back for us. Our owners have given us a death sentence and we are going to die by starvation, a bullet, poison, speeding car or in a dog fight.
    Please pray for us.

(This little girl is our latest rescue. She was rescued from an Indian reservation in Minnesota where the average life span for a dog there is two years old. She's thriving with us and will turn 4 this November.)
If you think you can't make a difference in a homeless animal's life, you are wrong. All it takes is one human to make a difference. I should know.  In the words of the Beatles song, all you need is love and what better form of love than a loyal, snuggable and protective fur ball.
S. J. Francis
 In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
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