I love watching The Big Bang Theory! In the course of my work with the homeless pet sites, my inbox is so often full of all sorts of misery that laughter really is the best medicine. Others may appreciate post apocalyptic tales with unhappy endings ... but I will take the good giggle anyday over that!
Lets face it ... it still is such a crap shoot to be a pet. The lucky ones live their whole lives with someone savvy enough to understand their physical and social needs. At the other end of the stick are the sad stories that are proof of the 'ignorance is not really bliss' pudding.
For instance ... a dear friend of mine is preparing to bring her new puppy home. A couple of years ago, their elderly Dalmatian went over the bridge and now the time is right for a new pal. Once again, they have gone to a good breeder and it is reasonable to expect that history will repeat itself. Their new pal will come with them wherever they move and be cared for no matter what medical issues arise ... or whatever curve balls life throws their way.
Like myself, she has a human child and very much knows the difference between her dogs and her child. What would that be? In a nutshell, as parents we spend all the formative years preparing our children to be independent and responsible citizens who are both willing and able to live a rich life of their own.
On the other hand, our pets are not supposed to 'leave the nest'. As responsible pet owners, we are instead meant to shelter and socialize our dogs so that they can enrich our own lives and be safe members of our communities.
If every pet owner was like my friend, we would never, ever need laws to protect animals in this country! In the midst of all the sad stories we so often see, it would be easy to forget that the majority of pet owners are lovely people who are already taking wonderful care of their pets!
Unfortunately, that does create difficulties for animal advocates trying to get better animal protection laws. Why? To be perfectly honest, most people already think we have enough laws and regulations.
When folks are not part of the problem, it can be difficult for them to appreciate the actual need for a solution, eh? Ironically enough, it is often the folks who are already responsible enough to alter their pets who are most opposed to government support for low cost / high volume spay neuter. People who are NOT tying their dogs out 24/7 are not going to appreciate a law limiting tethering times.
In other words, as we used to say in the sixties, it is impossible for most folks to "relate" to the need for better legislation to protect animals!
As we speak, there is a concerted campaign to educate the public about chained dogs that is beginning to gain traction around the province. To date, it has been doing so without any support from our own society :(
People outside of the animal rescue community often look to their provincial SPCA's for guidance on what is and is not acceptable. The NB SPCA has a very informative page on their website about Chaining Dogs. It is well written without being preachy ... and at the same time establishes the NB society's position on the subject with more emphasis than a simple one paragraph position statement.
What time is it? Education is one of the primary mandates of the society. Chained dogs sit out there for all the world to see ! Each and every time that a society cruelty inspector is unable to remove a dog from an unhealthy situation, it has a definite negative impact upon the reputation of the society.
Inclusion of an informative section on anti tethering would at least allow the public to clearly see that the society does not support this practice.
A time comes when silence is betrayal. Dr Martin Luther King Jr