To the Editor:
The animal shelter would like to thank all of those responsible citizens of the county who pick up the stray dogs along the road and take them home, vet them, and make them a forever member of their family. They are taking on a responsibility that someone else has thrown away. Those with a conscience have to make up for those without one who can drop a dog and drive away, abandoning them on a rural road, where they experience fear and loneliness and sit loyally waiting for the person to come back to get them, searching for them and wondering why they have been left behind, often to starve to death or be hit by a car, while the people who dump them go to bed that night and sleep knowing other productive members of society clean up their messes and take on their responsibilities. Those people are very sad individuals.
Those with a conscience know that dogs are living, breathing animals who feel pain, joy, love, fear, and pleasure. We understand that dogs enjoy playtime, walk time, but more than anything, time with their pack—their family—their people.
They want nothing more than to be by the side of their human. They want to sleep where you sleep and walk where you walk. They enjoy the touch of a kind hand and the softness of a good bed. They want to be inside of the home with their family, not stuck on the end of a chain or alone in a kennel or fenced yard for hours on end. Dogs were born to be our companions, not to live a life of solitude. We don’t chain mass murders to a box for the rest of their lives but we do this to our devoted dogs, often left to die a horrible death in the heat or the cold.
And when life gets too busy dogs are brought to the animal shelter, dumped and forgotten, frightened and bewildered. They watch for their owner’s return with every footfall that approaches their kennel. No matter what we do for them, they will experience fear and loneliness. They have only their eyes to implore someone to save them, and their tails to show that they are a friend. If that is not good enough, they will die.
Or they are given away “free to a good home.” Please realize that they do not have the means to care for themselves. They are at the mercy of the kindness of people—if they fall into the wrong hands, their lives will be ruined.
Please be responsible and have your pets spayed and neutered, and before you get a pet, make sure you are dedicating yourself to its entire life. Not just as long as it is convenient for you.
Rosetta Cozart, WCASS, Inc.