It is ironic that two days after I wrote about the abandonment of animals, the mayor of an Arkansas community decides the way to deal with pet overpopulation is to take the pound dogs out into a national forest and “set them free”.
Free to do what, Mr. Valley? Free to die a slow death from starvation? Free to be injured by animals born to the wilds, then die a slow and painful death? Free to suffer because they have not been born to the wild and know not how to care for themselves? Free to procreate and produce more animals many of whom will die shortly after birth? Free to form packs and attack summer hikers because ‘people equals food’ but starving hard-to-handle dogs don’t worry about manners?
If you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, here and here are some links to the official news releases.
Valley’s argument that they were being housed in crowded filthy conditions is no argument at all – either clean up the conditions or, if there is absolutely no alternative, humanely euthanize the dogs. I do not condone the pandemic euthanization of animals taking place in the US and to a lesser extent in Canada, but where no other alternatives exist, a lethal injection to kill the physical being is kinder than abandonment which kills the spiritual, physical, and emotional self.
Perhaps I feel passionately about this topic because of Francis. He was the first rescue dog I really gave my heart to, the first one I was involved with from beginning to end. And he was found in a remote area of forest, likely left out there by someone who wanted to make sure he was no longer a "problem" for them.
Perhaps that passion was recently re-ignited by Baby, abandoned in a northern B.C. apartment and not found for three weeks, and by the two little cats left to their own resources when their humans moved and left them behind at a house near here.
But wherever my passion, my anger, my disgust comes from, tonight I can truly say I am sick of people who think animals are disposable, and I am sickened that public officials abandon animals and get away with it because voters prefer the words “freeing the animals” to “euthanization”.
I had intended today, the first sunny day in a couple of weeks, to take a ton of happy pictures of my animals. But the news release brought a huge black cloud across my sunlit skies and I was unable to capture the magic of my world until the work of mowing grass and whacking weeds and mucking stalls and feeding pigs and walking dogs finally soothed my soul – and now it too dark for photos.
So all I can say is, if you feel so inclined, post the links on your animal forums, your travel forums, your hiking and camping forums. Email the mayor, the newspapers, the State governor, the tourist bureau in Arkansas.
Let Arkansas know that the eyes of the world are upon it, and that we do not like what we see.