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Animal Cruelty Prevention Month

Ghandi is credited with saying, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Since April is Nation Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month, I think it’s worth remembering. In an age when many pets get Christmas presents, birthday parties, and sometimes even their own Facebook pages (have you “liked” Zee the Zamzows Tee Dog yet?), it can be hard to imagine that animal cruelty still exists. But it does, and sometimes it’s closer than you think.

I’ll never forget the day my sister-in-law told me her neighbors had moved and left their dog behind. We went to check on the dog and found a confused, desperately lonely, six month-old collie pup. With a little digging, we discovered that her owners had been gone for several months, and they returned to feed her only once a week. She was starving – both for food and for companionship. We were able to track down her owners, who told us if we cared about her so much we should just keep her. When they told us her name was Allie, we misheard and called her Callie. They corrected us, but we decided to keep the new name as a symbol of her new life (though her official full title soon became “Callie the Pretty Girlie”).

That was thirteen years ago (the typical lifespan for collies is ten years). These days Callie doesn’t hear or see as well as she used to, and she needs a lot of help getting around. But she’s still as loving as ever, and never fails to greet you with a “woof” and a wagging tail. I’m so grateful that she’s been a part of our lives.

I’m sharing this story because cruelty still exists, and I’m not just talking about animal cruelty, but cruelty of all kinds (though there are links between animal cruelty and domestic violence – get more information here). Whether it’s neglect, physical injury, psychological abuse, etc., cruelty is a disease with many faces, and much of the time, the victims can’t speak for themselves. That’s why awareness is so important. Cruelty exists in hiding. This is true whether it’s a local case of domestic violence or a puppy mill operation that spans several states. But by being aware, we can notify the proper authorities, intervene, and stop the cycle of cruelty and violence. Follow this link for more information on recognizing the signs of animal cruelty, and if you suspect an animal is being abused, call Canyon County Animal Control at 465-2257.

Animal cruelty is only a symptom of a larger disease, but it’s up to us make a difference when we can – for the month of April and beyond. Keep moving, my friends!

– Alan

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