When will we get it? When will we, as a society stop living with indifference to the suffering, the over population, the abuse and the extermination of so many of man’s best friends.
Yes I’m talking about dogs; one of God’s gifts to mankind.
When will we, as dog lovers, take responsibility for the explosion of accidental litters, backyard breeders, and puppy mills that pump out puppy after puppy just to make a buck without a care in the world about what happens to those babies, much less the lives of the imprisoned puppy making adults they keep in horrible situations with the sole purpose of producing puppies so they can line their wallets with cash?
When will we get serious about stopping and severely punishing the scum that fight dogs?
When will we stop dumping unwanted dogs, including helpless puppies on the side of the road or in the woods to die a slow miserable death?
When will we stop supporting "designer dog" breeders? We don't need more breeds and more dogs. We need to give homes to the dogs that are already here and homeless!
Why do I care? They’re just animals, right?
I care because dogs are awesome! They’re the only creature I know of, including human beings, that give true unconditional love. That’s just for starters. They do so much for us and they deserve better from us.
Think about all the things dogs do for human beings. As a member of your family they provide love, entertainment, companionship, loyalty, security, protection, forgiveness and more love. And that’s just your everyday, garden variety canine. That alone is enough to understand the tremendous value they add to our lives.
But they can and do provide so much more. There are thousands and thousands of people who benefit greatly from the addition of service dogs in their lives; blind people, the crippled, people with all kinds of handicaps, people with diabetes, seizures, autism, seniors, critically ill patients, soldiers with PTSD, and the list goes on and on.
Then there are rescue dogs that think nothing of entering extremely dangerous areas to help find a lost soul, drug sniffers in airports and our borders, bomb sniffers used everywhere a threat is suspected including those who run point to protect countless soldiers in foreign lands. Plus the thousands of canine police dogs that put themselves in harm’s way without hesitation to protect our police officers.
Yes dogs are a gift! And our country is full of dog lovers who own and care greatly for their dogs. Unfortunately that’s where it ends for most of us; our dogs.
We forget about the millions of homeless dogs languishing in shelters. We don’t think about those suffering a horrible existence as a fighting dog. We ignore the poor dogs that are used as bait for training these fighting dogs. These bait dogs are torn apart and ripped to shreds so the scumbags can train their fighters who are only taken care of as long as they win and make money for the owner. Most of these bait dogs die in agony. If they happen to survive they are scarred and disfigured and either killed or discarded to die a slow agonizing death. Those that don’t die wear the physical scars of that brutal existence for whatever time they have left.
We, as a civilized society must stop those criminals involved in dog fighting. It’s not a sport! It’s a sick perversion perpetrated by cowards who impose their will on a creature who can’t defend itself. In my mind it’s the same mentality as someone who would abuse children by imposing their sick will on someone who can’t do anything about it. Our law enforcement has to be much more aggressive in rooting out and arresting those involved and the penalties must be much more severe. Neighbors have to start reporting these activities and get involved. Animal abuse is illegal in all 50 states yet it goes on.
If you know or even suspect something call the police, call the SPCA or the Humane Society in your area. Let some authority know what you know or suspect.
Then there are the puppy mills where fertile adult dogs are kept in small filthy wire cages, often outside exposed to the weather, no matter what it is, and continuously impregnated to produce puppy after puppy after puppy. These pups are born into the same filthy environment as the mother is kept in; full of disease, parasites, piles of feces and urine, often with skin diseases and parasite infestation with very little if any vet care. These puppies often find their way to pet stores and farmers markets so buyers beware. The adults, or should I say those old enough to produce puppies are kept alive until they can’t produce puppies anymore or are just too sick to be worth it and then discarded like yesterdays garbage.
Again this is illegal yet it continues to happen in almost every state. Obviously fines are not enough. They’re just the cost of doing business. Long jail time should be mandatory for these creeps.
Then we have the back yard breeders who want to make a quick buck but often end up with unwanted puppies who are added to the homeless population in our shelters.
And then there are the irresponsible owners who don’t neuter their dogs or watch them to avoid the “accidental” pregnancies which produce even more unwanted homeless puppies.
My focus is on dogs but we also have a tremendous problem with cat overpopulation. It’s estimated that about 7.6 million dogs and cats enter our shelters every year. Only about 2.7 million leave the system in that same time period. Do the math!
Then we euthanize approximately 3 million dogs and cats every year in the United States. That’s each and every year! Think about those numbers!
It seems hopeless!
What in the world can we do to reverse this horrible situation?
Well nothing is going to improve unless every dog lover gets involved. We need to lobby our lawmakers to enact much stricter penalties for the lawbreakers. Fines have to be very very high but fines alone won’t do it. Mandatory jail time and loss of any property involved in the criminal activity should be part of the penalty. Big fines, jail time and the loss of real property would make it “not worth it” to be involved in these criminal activities. And personally I would have no problem with substantially increasing penalties for repeat offenders.
These tough laws and penalties should be imposed on dog fighters and puppy mills. A slap on the wrist won’t get it done. There’s too much money to be made. The penalties must make the criminal think twice about his or her conduct in the future.
Every state should have a hotline and a dedicated arm of the police force or several, depending on the size of the state, for investigation and enforcement of these laws. People in the community need to become the eyes and ears to report these criminals to the authorities and help protect these wonderful creatures who cannot protect themselves.
Anyone caught dumping or abandoning a dog or a litter of puppies on the street or in the woods or anywhere else should face heavy fines and jail time.
We have to stop supporting puppy mills by buying puppies from pet stores or farmers markets.
We need to stop buying designer breeds and start giving homes to the needy dogs in our over crowded shelters and rescue facilities.
People need to neuter their pets and stop the casual back yard breeding. If you think you’re going to make a lot of money, forget it! There are already way too many homeless dogs that would make wonderful pets so please stop making more!
Until your dog is neutered take more responsibility in keeping your fertile dog isolated from potential mates. If there’s an accidental pregnancy, make it your responsibility to find good homes for the puppies. To the cowards who discard an unplanned litter, grow a pair and do the right thing.
And to any potential new dog owner, learn what you need to learn before you get a dog. 70% of people who acquire animals end up giving them up or abandoning them so don’t do it on a whim. Get an education first so you know what to expect and what your responsibilities are. Make a commitment to that new pet before it comes home. Learn about raising and training a dog and if you need help once you get the animal, get it!
There are tons of resources on the internet at your disposal. Local animal shelters and humane societies provide things like low cost neutering, help with food if needed; help with training and many other things to help you keep your dog in your home.
If we all get involved and contribute it will still take years to get the overpopulation under control but it's a move in the right direction. In the meantime if you have any morals at all, do what you can do in your circle of influence. Please.
If you can give a home, even temporarily, to a dog in need, do it. Our shelters are full of wonderful dogs who find themselves in a loud, confusing, scary environment and in most cases it through no fault of their own. One day they have a home and a family and the next day they are alone in a cold, dark, scary cage and they don’t know why. They just need a chance.
If you can volunteer some time, do it! Many shelters are short handed and can use all the help they can get, just to spend some time with the dogs, getting them out of their cages and having someone to touch them and interact with them.
If you can't give time, give money, or pet supplies; food, leashes, collars, treats, bowls, whatever you can.
Be an advocate for dog adoption. The stories are endless about incredible dogs that have been rescued from shelters. Go on Petfinder.com or Adoptapet.com and look at the faces and stories of the countless dogs that are waiting for a home. It’s truly heart breaking.
If we all do something maybe, just maybe we can turn this thing around!
If Everyone Read This, The Shelters Would Be Empty