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The world of problems include the suffering of domestic animals | News, Sports, Jobs

The world of problems include the suffering of domestic animals |  News, Sports, Jobs


A lot is happening in the news right now. Our college campuses are in turmoil. These gathering places for higher education have traditionally erupted when the spring semester comes to an end and have been where protests and changes begin. It has to happen.

We protested for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. Some were good, some not, but that's how change happens.

We are acutely aware of Donald Trump's ongoing trial, daily updates on his lack of physical and verbal control, the crayon drawings of his closed eyes, the streets empty of protesters. The only protests are his because he was forced to be there, tortured because the thermostat is not set to his liking. If it was warmer, I'm sure they wouldn't be able to keep him awake. The wheels of justice move slowly, Donald.

This news will be covered regularly for quite some time; there's one that just hit the media all of a sudden and that might not last long, so I'd like to cover the topic while it's fresh. It's about our beloved pets and animal cruelty. Pets can be more than cats and dogs. Pets can be alligators, like Albert, who lived with his owner for 30 years and was recently captured by conservation officers. People who understand the bond between humans and their pets are clamoring for Albert's return.

Pets can be turkeys. My daughter recently hosted a book signing event at her Barnes and Noble store. One of the authors was Camille Licate, who wrote a children's book called “Bree and Me” and who brought her rooster, Brain to the event. The book is an account of her rescue of a toddler who escaped from a crate in the middle of New York City. She kept the bird, cared for it, and as it grew into a full-fledged rooster, unable to keep it in an NYC apartment, she moved.

This rooster is well-mannered, well-trained and definitely caring. He even huddled as a cue as he sat behind her when she read the book to the children there. Camille uses her story and book to teach children to be kind and loving “well done” for all humans and animals.

Most of us are fond of our pets. We dress them up in pretty scarves and collars, take them to groomers, do regular vet checks, post cute videos on YouTube, proudly display photos. A recent Facebook post had many comments of pet owners spending time matching their carpet choices to their pet's fur, or their flooring to the color of the mud their dog brings up. This is adaptation and cooperation so that both pets and the owner is happy. “Unfortunately” said a comment, “When I worked at a vet during college, there were people who would bring their pets in to be euthanized because they didn't fit the decor. True story.”

Terribly selfish and superficial. Rabbits and chickens are often discarded after Easter is over. A rabbit rescue in Erie, Pa., called EARS (Erie Area Rabbit Society) is home to many house rabbits that are cared for but rarely adopted.

Exotic pets like Albert and Bree are rare, but with proper care some can be trained to be good companion pets. However, not all have to be, and in many cases, it is abusive and often unsafe to keep a wild animal in a domestic situation.

This is the disturbing side of this conversation, animal abuse. I am a vegetarian because I don't want to be the reason for the death of any animal. The cruelty of factory farms and the torture animals endure in the process of going from a living, sentient being to a piece of meat on a plate is appalling. Even in the version of Genesis in the Bible that I know, God did not plan for us to eat animals, but provided vegetation for both humans and animals to eat.

Pet abuse is abhorrent. Humans have trained dogs, cats, goats and farm animals to trust and depend on us to take care of them. So South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem deserves all the flak she's getting in the media for what she did to her puppy, Cricket.

Noem, whose respect/disregard for life is everywhere, was extremely against masks during COVID and allowed the infamous 2020 Sturgis bike rally to take place, which caused the virus to spread, and then used the relief funds for a tourism campaign . However, she believes that life begins at fertilization and opposes any exceptions to the ban on abortion for rape or incest. She's a gun advocate, of course, and said at an NRA forum last year that her 2-year-old granddaughter has a shotgun and a rifle, and a pony named “Shines.” Wow. The spark better be on its best behavior.

I'm sure, like most media stories, this one will die a quick death (like the poor cricket, and unlike the poor goat who decided immediately after getting rid of the dog, to get rid of it too. The goat suffered with a lost purpose as it went in get more ammo to reload.) What's more troubling is that she defends her actions in her book, which if she thought would help her in a VP race, seems to have done the opposite. It's good to know her sociopathic tendencies.

Everyone from simple animal lovers to professional dog trainers to rescue organizations condemn her actions. The dog's behavior, which consisted of doing what a wire-haired German pointer is bred to do, chasing birds, is what angered Noem. All experts agree that the problem was the owner, not the dog. She expected Cricket, a 14-month-old puppy, to not do what came naturally to him. The breed is not fully mature or adequately trainable until age 2, according to Joan Payton, spokeswoman for the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America and delegate to the American Kennel Club, and is not fully trained until age 3 at 5 years old.

It seems that Noem had taken her dog on a pheasant hunt with several others who had adult dogs, thinking that she would “fall into it”? Instead, the dog had, as Kristi said, “The Time of Her Life”. Oh, how terribly embarrassing it must have been for Noah. Then, fully aware that Cricket didn't catch her, she stopped at a neighbor's farm, who had chickens. What did Noem think was going to happen? Then, she blamed the dog. She called her dog's goal a difficult decision, when it would have been easier to give him to a shelter! The continuation of the goat's death does not lend much credibility to her defense that it had to be made, the goat was an additional victim of her apparent rage. I can't imagine looking into those big trusting brown eyes and thinking it was the right thing to do. As one coach interviewed said, “shame on him.”

It is well documented that the way one treats animals will reflect on the way they treat other human beings.

Hillary Clinton said a while ago, “Don't vote for anyone you wouldn't trust your dog”. She reposted it with “Still true.” While most of us like to think of our beloved pets crossing the rainbow bridge, all poor Cricket got was a pit of gravel. RIP Cricket and all the other animals who suffer abuse, neglect and horrible deaths. Even animals need us to protest for their rights, and “rest” we can do better for them.

Susan Bigler is a Sheridan resident. Send comments to [email protected]

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