Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Gandhi quote

For a nation that’s supposedly one of the most advanced in the world, we are absolutely pathetic when it comes to animal welfare.  There is no one organization that keeps track of animal abuse statistics, and it would probably be completely inaccurate anyway.  Just like with domestic abuse and rape, animal abuse goes way, way, under-reported.  What does THAT say about our society?

I will admit it – I am a TOTAL breed snob.  I truly believe that Labradors are the greatest breed ever and you will never get me to change my tune on that.  That being said though, there aren’t too many breeds, including mutts, I don’t love.  There are plenty of breeds I don’t trust for various reasons, but dogs are what we humans make them.  Irresponsible breeding, puppy mill conditions, abuse, neglect, and just plain nasty human nature will ensure animal shelter workers will always have job security.

north-shore-animal-league-america

So what do we do to change the culture?  Education and spay/neuter programs are a drop in the bucket compared to the abuse and overpopulation problem.  But as a nation, WE CANNOT GIVE UP.  Can’t afford to donate?  Go ahead and donate your time, that won’t cost you anything except a few hours of your time.  You just may end up with a new furry friend, too. 🙂  See someone abusing an animal?  Step in!  Or at the very least, call the police.  Know about a secret dog-fighting ring?  Call it in!  You can always remain anonymous.  Whatever you do, JUST DO SOMETHING.

abuse pup

As dramatic as it may sound, it has been proven time and time again that some of the world’s most notorious serial killers started young with abusing and killing animals.  Oftentimes, they were victims of abuse themselves. How many animals, and later, humans, might still be alive had someone paid attention to how f-ed up Jeffrey Dahmer was when he was just a kid?  And those are just the ones we KNOW about.  Feeling a little nauseous now?  You should be.  I know I am.

But then you have people like this.  People like Eddie Alvarez who travel to the Everglades every day in an attempt to rescue poor animals who have been dumped there by uncaring, stupid people, who think nothing of the pythons, alligators, and any number of other various predators that call this giant swamp home.

Who do you think would win this fight?

Who do you think would win THIS fight?

I’m going to get down off my soapbox now and leave you with this thought.  How we treat “lower” life forms is a reflection of who we are and what we consider important.  For a girl who grew up afraid of dogs and now can’t imagine ever living without them, that’s a big deal.  A REALLY big deal.  So take a moment and think – what does your opinion of animals say about you?

animal quote MLK

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever witnessed animal abuse?  What did you do about it?  Do you agree how we treat animals is a reflection upon us?  What do/would you do to help save an animal?

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21 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Be Friends?

  1. I’m not saying everyone has to love dogs but I usually find it a big red flag when people tell them they don’t like them. Running near my parents’ house I have seen some dogs just roaming the streets where people drive way too fast. I at least heard them off the road and knock on doors to find their owner. I try to give the dog their space ’cause I don’t need to get bitten, but I also would never just let them wander the streets like that and usually their owner didn’t even realize they got out.

  2. Ben and I are HUGE animal lovers and big advocates for treating them well. He in particular gets worked up really easily if someone is messing with an animal. We love our kitty like our child, and want to have lots of other animals someday, and they will all be treated like royalty.

    I’m really excited to be able to go to our local Humane Society someday soon and pick out our own Wonder Mutt 🙂

  3. I’m notorious for picking up “stray” dogs on the road. I hate seeing them running out alone. I’ve never witnessed animal abuse, thankfully, but it would definitely anger me if I saw it….no one, animal, or human deserves to be hurt. Ever.

  4. We have a HUGE problem with this in Baltimore. I feel like I’m always hearing disgusting stories about people lighting animals on fire (it always seems to be pit bulls which are outlawed here) and it’s just disgusting. I can’t believe people drop animals off in a swamp like that. It makes my stomach turn. 😦

    • What’s sad was when I was researching pictures for animal abuse investigators, I could not BELIEVE how many pictures came up of Baltimore officers! We have so many illegal dog fighting (and cock fighting!) rings down here it’s sick. They go out into the Everglades or no man’s land in west Dade County where there’s no one around to see it. It’s very much a cultural thing down here, especially with the cock fighting. It’s all just sickening to me.

  5. Thanks for the post! So true.
    I’ve had my husky/german shepherd mix for almost 4 years. I adopted her during grad school after her previous owners moved to another state and left the dog tied up, outside, with no water – and a neighbor discovered her. She is the sweetest dog in the world and truly my best friend. Some days I daydream about what I would do if I met her previous owners…. it makes me very angry!
    At any rate, I’ve just moved to Switzerland. Despite the fact that I have had her for several years, every owner here is required to go to an informational class before adopting or purchasing a dog, and once the dog has been acquired, the owner is required to take the dog to several classes. Checkups are done ever year to confirm that the animal is treated well. If an owner doesn’t show up or the animal looks to be in poor condition, it’s removed from the owner. I know this costs the government a lot of money to enforce, but I think it’s SUCH a good thing. I wish all countries had similar rules!

    Keep the fight going!

    • This is AWESOME! Imagine if we stopped sending our troops all over the planet to clean up other people’s messes, we just might have some of that $$ to spend on useful things like this! Not to get all political (HATE that), but these are some really great programs! I’d be curious to see how it affects over-population and abuse/neglect issues over there. Thanks for the comments!

  6. Ummmm, it is no secret that I am DESTINED to have a black lab (who will be named Doby – because I am also obsessed with Harry Potter). ANYWAY, I think that unfortunately animals suffer from stereotypes worse than humans do. For example pit bulls. My friend had 2 of them and they were the biggest (literally and figuratively) sweetest friendliest dogs because that’s how they were raised. But other people hear pit bulls and automatically think the worst.

    Another friend of mine has a dog that she adopted from Puerto Rico because she was just abandoned and left on the street there (apparently, that’s big there) and the poor thing was so frightened of every person that that she came in contact with for the longest time.

    What’s my point? I don’t know. I guess, people don’t be douches and treat your animals like you would treat your child! (Although, that brings on a whole other issue of how some people should not have children). Ummmm, new point? People don’t be douches!

    • Sounds like an anti-douche bag campaign is in the works! I absolutely agree pit bulls get a bad rap, but sadly, I have seen the nicest people do everything in their power to overcome bad breeding with no luck, ending up with having to make the worst decision a pet owner ever has to make. But I do think these cases are few and far between. My favorites are the narrow minded individuals who push for breed ban specific laws – like in Dade County and their anti pitbull laws. What’s to stop them from moving from pit bulls to Rotties, to Dobies, or even to Labs? There are bad eggs in every breed and it all falls back on irresponsible breeding and owners. So like you said – DON’T BE A DOUCHE!

  7. I am just getting back to blog reading after our trip and limited Internet access. This post hit a huge nerve with me, since we are huge animal lovers and plan alot of trips where we can see/interact with cool species of animals. It makes me so sad that people are cruel to defensiveless animals. You would probably love a book I just finished about a British soldier who saved dogs in Afghanistan. Title, One Dog at a Time. I loved it!

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