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Friday, May 22, 2015

Clouds on the Horizon

Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at 2:08 PM

Enlighten by Tyson Kylmer (Photo by Michael Brian)
A new year is upon us with more promise of change than in years past. The close of 2011 has brought with it many animal welfare issues that have gained a momentum of their own.

Here in Missouri we have had the barbaric practice of killing animals in gas chambers hammered home. We are one of the 31 states that still allow this practice despite all the evidence that it is one of the most inhumane forms of torture for the animals. We have seen documented footage of animals being loaded into these death boxes, then had to endure the images of live animals being loaded on top of the corpses. I myself had to hold myself in check when one of the proponents of this method stated these were only dogs and had no comprehension of what was happening. I am not just being a "bleeding heart" when I tell you that is so much nonsense. Being a horsewoman, as well as a dog fancier, I can tell you animals do have a comprehension of death. They may not rationalize it the way we do but they are all too familiar with what it means. As an example of this I can tell you I have had a horse come out from under me when he encountered a road kill. Death has its own smell and even the simplest mind can comprehend what it is.

One of my resolutions for this New Year is to see to it that Missouri joins the 19 other states that have abolished this practice. To all the readers of my posts you are welcome to join this fight and it will begin right here in our own backyard.

For Pit Bull fanciers 2011 brought with it many reforms in breed specific legislation. It has taken the deaths of thousands of Pit Bulls and dogs that had the misfortune to look like Pit Bulls, to bring about this reform but the changes are evident all across this country and the world.

Governing bodies have had to face the fact that they have excused the behavior of irresponsible dog owners by projecting the blame for their behavior on a dog. Some of these owners that have been allowed to walk freely among us have been exposed for the monsters they truly are. We have warned of the dangers of allowing these people to remain on our streets but it has taken the stories of dogs being tortured, mutilated and killed in the most horrifying ways to wake up those who live in terror of a made up demon.

It is time the blame was laid at the feet of these sociopaths that would do the same to anyone of us if given the chance. These people are dangerous to our communities, our families, even our own cherished pets. The tales of dogs being stolen out of yards to be tortured for the amusement of some sick mind are becoming more and more frequent. Soaking dogs in flammable liquids, then torching them has become the sport of choice, whether the dogs have been fought or not. It is simply in vogue to come up with more terrifying ways to do as much damage as possible.

ENOUGH, it is time animal abuse was taken seriously with penalties that are as harsh as the crimes. There are petitions circulating and pending legislation that would make this type of abuse a felony, as it should be. This is not just about spectators at dog fights. This is about people who will wantonly abuse children in as depraved a manner as they will a dog.

There seems to be a new awakening of humanity in this New Year. 2012 promises to hold positive change for all facets of animal welfare. For the shelters and rescues, communities are rallying to support the message of responsible ownership. This is reflected in the new programs being implemented that enhance adoptability of animals that may have otherwise been nothing more than a kill statistic. Displaced dogs are being considered for working and service positions that may have historically been filled by dogs coming from breeders. Awareness just may be the new battle cry for this brand new year. Awareness, responsibility and education will be our greatest tools to fight the ignorance that plagues man's best friend.

Yes, there are clouds on the horizon and they herald a storm of change for the betterment of all dogs. To all the animal welfare advocates, I wish you the best year yet!

RE-CAP OF BSL FOR 2011: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/StopBsl/~...

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Canine Advocate
Melanie Coy
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Melanie Coy has been a pit bull fancier for 29 years. She's also been involved in obedience and other training and showing animals. Coy became involved in animal legislative issues in the mid-80s to dispel myths about the pit bull breed and fight against breed-specific laws. She advocates responsible dog ownership through training and educational programs, and helps shelters make dogs more adoptable.
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