Massacre And Abuse: Our Furry Friends Need Us More Than You Know

By Susan Pruitt
Senior Editor


   Once upon a time, I ran over a squirrel with my car.

   The squirrel darted to the middle of the road, flicked its furry tail, then scurried back across my lane of traffic. I did not have time to stop.

   The horror I experienced that day was surpassed Sept. 6 when a cat ran across the highway close to Sonic in Monticello. I did not even see the poor cat, but I certainly felt its presence underneath my car tires.

   I felt so remorseful and … full of anger. I thought of how the cat may have been someone’s pet. If they loved the cat, why did they leave it outside to deal with dogs, hunger, no shelter, disease, cars and possible further abuse from humans?

   Yes, I said abuse. The owner or owners neglected the cat, which led to me running over it with my car.

   According to the Humane Society of the United States, animal cruelty can be either deliberate abuse or simply the failure to take care of an animal. All U.S. states have animal cruelty laws, and 47 states treat some forms of abuse as felonies. In Arkansas, animal cruelty results in a Class D felony.

   Maybe the cat and its litter mates resulted from someone not spaying their pet. By the way, many shelters give out vouchers, so you can spay or neuter your pet for free.

   The death of the cat prompted me to donate food and volunteer my time to the P.A.W.S. Animal Shelter in Monticello. The shelter is home to 60 or 70 dogs, and one lady takes care of all of them without any help.

   During my visit, the owner told me of a few horrific stories. One dog arrived with a hairless, raw streak down its back probably due to someone pouring hot liquid on it. Another dog appeared at the shelter completely hairless due to the mange. Yet another hairless dog, a small pit bull, showed up with scars all over its face. We both thought dog fighting was to blame.

   In media-reported animal cruelty cases, dogs—and pit bull-type dogs, in particular—are the most common victims of animal cruelty. Of 1,880 cruelty cases reported in the media in 2007:

  • 64.5% (1,212) involved dogs
  • 18% (337) involved cats
  • 25% (470) involved other animals
  • Reported abuse against pit bull-type dogs appears to be on the rise: in 2000–2001, pit bull-type dogs were involved in 13% of reported dog abuse cases; in 2007, they were involved in 25% of reported dog abuse cases.

   The shelter owner also said people drive next to the shelter to dump out their dogs. She said sometimes people will throw puppies, not even weaned from their mother, over the side of the fence.

   Why would people neglect innocent animals?

   According to one website, people may abuse and neglect animals due to several reasons, which include:

  • The person was a victim of abuse.
  • The person has a mindset that animals are a lower form of life.
  • Lack of education about proper animal care and treatment
  • The person believes he/she deserves the best from the animal, and feels the pet is not living up to his/her expectations.
  • Entertainment (animal fighting)
  • Money (animals killed for profit)

   Heartless human beings with a lack of education or … in better words, a lack of any common sense, morals, conscience or a soul. But, I know there are those people who, like me, love animals of all kinds.

   If you are one of those people, please either volunteer your time or donate food, money, or supplies (food, dog houses, food bowls, tarps, crates, etc.) to your local animal shelter, the Humane Society and/or ASPCA.

   Just because humankind cannot get along … does not mean we cannot get along with animals who need us more than anything.

   “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” – Pythagoras



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