Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cruelty to animals a pet cause (pun intended)

I agreed to join other members of the Blog Catalog community in writing an advocacy column today. Members are participating in an effort called “Against Abuse.” Each of us could select our own good cause. I chose advocacy for animals. Some of the stories I found are sickening.

Last week the Humane Society of the United States posted a news release about the death of a carriage horse in New York. The release noted, “The horse became spooked, broke free from its carriage, and ran into a tree sustaining fatal injuries. Carriage drivers blame a nearby street performance, which included drums, for causing the horse to become frightened and bolt. This is only one of several such incidents over the past few years.”

The city is addressing the problem, but it’s hard to understand how you can prevent problems when you have carriage horses in an area as congested as New York City. The release further noted, “Earlier this month, City Comptroller William Thompson released an audit of the agencies that regulate the city's carriage horses. The report showed that the horses live and work in inhumane conditions. They do not receive adequate shade or water and the agencies did not maintain required inspections and veterinary check ups.”

The sad fact is this is not the worst example of abuse. Whether someone is confining an exotic pet then setting it loose when the pet becomes too much trouble or engaging in dogfighting as in the case of Michael Vick, America like other countries has examples of abuse in abundance. Many of the examples are horrible. A puppy shot, wrapped in a blanket and tossed, still alive, into a dumpster. A horse mutilated with a machete, his front left shoulder nearly severed. What quality provokes a human being into harming the vulnerable?

The Humane Society says, “Cruelty to animals is strongly linked to interpersonal violence, including domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and murder. Nearly half of convicted sexual homicide perpetrators in a 1988 study admitted to abusing animals as adolescents.”

The Humane Society provides a wealth of information on the organization’s Web site. Visit the site and watch some of the videos that show animals rescued from dire circumstances. It’s a good lesson in the worst and the best of mankind.

(graphic courtesy of Blog Catalog)

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