Rash of starving dogs found

Published 4:44 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

How does this happen?

How do we permit a living creature to starve to death?

Where is our compassion?

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Please don’t wait until it is too late. Look at these helpless dogs and please do something. These animals all came in to the shelter in a couple of days this week. One found abandoned in a shopping cart in the hot sun; one found with her puppy dumped in a ditch. Neither of them got there by themselves. The mother dog was too weak even to stand.

Oh, I know some will say “It’s just an animal.” Just an animal? It is one of God’s creatures and it feels pain, hunger, thirst, heat, cold and a full range of emotions. What does it say about us as a society that we can ignore suffering in our very midst?

Conditions like this do not happen overnight. They take a long time to get this bad. Where are the owners, the neighbors, the families?

There are alternatives.

Here in Decatur County we have two animal control officers who will come and pick up your animal if you can no longer care for it. We have a Humane Society Shelter where you can turn in your pet. If you can no longer provide the care that these animals need, there are humane alternatives. You do not need to abandon your animal in a ditch or a shopping cart, or on someone else’s property. You do not need to starve it to death!

We could have a long philosophical discussion about how desensitized we, as a society, have become and the message we are giving to our children. But I will leave those discussions for another time and another place. Many who are far brighter than I have spoken on the subject. Others have pointed out the close correlation between cruelty to animals and abuse of family members and others.

All of that is true. But how many more animals are we going to take in whose condition is this grave? How many, like Cookie a couple of months ago, are we going to see who are the victims of our misdeeds? They cannot speak for themselves.

I appeal to everyone who reads this: please intervene when you see these conditions developing. If you can help the owners through a temporary problem by providing some food for their pets, please do. If you can’t, then please suggest that they relinquish their pet for the chance of a new life before that life is gone.

The animal control officers will help you and so will the Humane Society people at the shelter. For the county’s animal control officer call 248-3044; for the city of Bainbridge animal control officer call 248-2038; and for the Humane Society call 246-0101.

If you think these photographs are graphic, you should see the ones that don’t get printed! You should look into the eyes of these animals! How many more tears do we have to shed?