|Barked: Sat Mar 23, '13 12:02pm PST |
|I liked your example, Turner, as sometimes this is a matter of ignorance, desperation or someone being in over their heads. It's not a simple black-and-white world where you have on one hand all the dog freaks and on the other dog abusers. Dog abusers, in my experience, are not quite as common as we might think they are. Certainly, they are out there, but a lot of times it is for issues other than a cruel heart. Sometimes, getting involved isn't near the drama you'd think it was. Sometimes...ok, rarely, but SOMETIMES....you actually get a thank you.
I actually was able to experience this through horses, and I think it made me a little richer because a lot of times people obtain horses ignorantly. Pasture on a half acre and think that's all you need. Don't float teeth. Don't understand about farriers and foot care. Then tune out as their horse's condition deteriorates. Intent to be cruel often isn't the reason, even if their horse looks like a concentration camp victim, just skin and bones and living in total misery.
My term of living in the south taught me of cultural differences, also. I was essentially sick to my stomach living down there, but it was easier to see how culturally supported things are, so that tempered my approach, or adjusted it in some way. Moving away from "they should know better!" to "that dog needs some intervention." Don't think about the people, think about the dog and then get moving.
I think the big wakeup is that there ARE provisions, systems, approaches out there to get an animal out of a bad situation. The first step you take is the hardest....there is so much internal to make you not. But then you do, and you realize more that it isn't just you against the entire world, but an entire system that is there to support you. Or, a system you can rile up or improve to make it fulfill its obligations.
To not do anything is not allowing animal welfare to advance and strengthen itself, and is only affirming the status quo. It's just that first step....take it, and from then on you probably always will. If we don't support the animal welfare system, we really don't have much rights to complain about it, IMO.
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