Letter: Lawmakers need to step up, punish animal abusers

From: Sherry Grimes


It broke my heart and made me angry recently when I heard on the radio and read in the newspaper about a local case of animal neglect. This time it was a border collie, who suffered greatly at the hands of an uncaring owner, only to die when help arrived too late.

I have had two border collies in the past. Experts agree that the border collie is the most intelligent of all dog breeds, and I know from experience that they want nothing more than to please their human family members.

When will the punishment fit the crime when it comes to animal abuse and/or neglect? Our pets give us love, loyalty, comfort, joy and companionship. They entertain us with their antics and meet us at the door every day, as if we have been gone for a month. They provide warmth and can bring smiles, even on the worst of days. They give an infinite amount of pleasure and fulfillment to our lives, yet they ask for so little in return. They want to love and be loved.

Throughout history animals have labored, transported and protected us humans. Shouldn’t we do the same for them? They brighten the lives of the sick and lonely, and they assist the disabled. Dogs have been known to save lives from fires and intruders. With all this in mind, how on earth can we diminish the value of these wonderful gifts from God? How much effort does it take to make sure a dog has food and water and a collar that fits? Animals suffer, just as people do. They feel physical, psychological and emotional pain.

Our state and local lawmakers need to up the ante on animal abuse laws and punishment. This cruelty, intentional and otherwise, must stop. I am tired of seeing a slap on the wrist for owners of animals who have suffered and sometimes died, because they did not take the time to care for them or ask for help when they no longer could. Owning an animal is a complete commitment. We have to do a better job of watching out for those who cannot watch out for themselves. It is our moral responsibility.