With 25 years in the pet industry and formally as a handler licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I well understand that there is room for improvement in every aspect of animal husbandry. My comments here are superficial to the problems that exist.
We have recently been inundated with advertising from ASPCA on television soliciting funds. It’s probably very effective for fundraising. The pitiful visions of injured or sick and sad animals are enough to make anyone get out their check book.
I am not going to throw any stones. I am simply going to suggest that before you write that check, do some research — and not on the organization’s website. Be skeptical about any animal welfare organization claiming national status in its name and claimed actions.
I strongly suggest that if you are inclined to donate to animal welfare, you should visit your local shelter or Humane Society. They don’t get a dime from any national organization regardless of the insinuations made in some ads.
You will find plenty of sad little faces, injured and sick animals right in your own back yard that desperately need your money and your attention.
If you are thinking about adding a pet to your family, I urge you to visit those organizations. They have countless numbers of critters desperate for a second chance at a good life with a caring family. I got one of my dogs from a shelter all the way up in Atlanta. My wife and I saw something in his face on a website. He has been a wonderful addition to our household.
I am not going to say anything about the AKC. Certainly all 138+ registered breeds in the AKC need recognition, but then I also think that the AKC will register a fence post if you send in the fee. Just exactly how do you guarantee the authenticity of hundreds of thousands of animals born every year with the paperwork being filled out by the person breeding for profit?
I am not going to say anything about the proliferation of back yard breeders that, under Georgia law, can produce up to 30 puppies or kittens a year without a license or any kind of controls or inspections. Seeing kittens and puppies being sold at flea markets and garage sales is troublesome to me.
Leash laws? They are for the other guy. Unneutered or un-spayed animals running loose in our neighborhoods certainly haven’t added to the overpopulation of unwanted animals we already have, has it?
Cruelty to animals committed by those with the IQ of a cow patty is all around us. Starved, abandoned, flea-infested and sick or injured animals come from somewhere. They were the cute little puppies or kittens that became victims because someone, for whatever reason, be it ignorance, financial, etc., ended up not being able to handle their responsibilities to their animals, or didn’t care to start with. The animals end up, at best, at a taxpayer-supported animal control facility or a shelter. Too many of them die miserable painful deaths alone in the woods somewhere.
Spay and neuter your pets! Visit your local shelter and make a donation. Better yet — adopt a pet, maybe the mutt that everyone thinks is ugly. You may experience a never-ending dose of unconditional love from an eternally grateful critter.
Hubbard lives in Richmond Hill.