Saturday, June 14, 2008

Shame on you, Mayor James Valley!

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.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Jean,

I agree with you, shame on the Major of Arkansas.
I'm sorry to hear that it put a cloud over your sunny sky. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, loved to see more photos of your critters.

Lou

Anonymous said...

I heard about this yesterday. His actions disgust me. I am writing letters to the editor of their paper in that area, as well as to the Gov. of Arkansas and whoever I can find that oversees AC at the state level. This man makes me sick.

andrew bagley said...

I too am an animal lover. All of the pets I currently have are either strays or the offspring of strays. However, this situation is more complicated than it has been portrayed in the media. This Mayor inherited the merger of two bankrupt cities with horrible facilities and infrastructure, including the animal shelter. He made every effort to work with the humane society officials in the region. However, they chose militancy over compromise and political wrangling over results. He is working to correct the situation and two city employees just completed training from PETA. You need to write the city council down there about appropriating money for a shelter and the local humane officials about raising money and getting results instead of creating this huge spectacle. I want help for the animals and the approach being used by the animal rights community isn't getting it done.

Jean said...

I have published your comment, Mr. Bagley, only to show that there are still people who simply "don't get it".
The fact that you believe your mayor has done well for the city in other domains bears no relevance on his ignorance about domestic animals and his blatant violation of the law.
In addition to the update I provided more recently in this blog (http://mylifewiththecritters.blogspot.com/2008/06/appalling-lack-of-discretion-update-on.html), readers will be interested to read the Humane Society's rebuttal to the mayor's defence, and to know that there is now a warrant for his arrest.

Humane Society’s side of story:
http://www.helena-arkansas.com/state_news/x222994307/Humane-Society-director-denies-Valley-allegations

Arrest warrant now issued:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080628/ap_on_re_us/stray_dogs