I don't cry as easily as my older sister Anna, but then we
are both soft-hearted. I think to myself, I wish more
people were like us.
I just saw a despicable ad on the Internet from some gun
proponents. It was either selling or touting a poster of a scantily
clad woman with the message, "Shoot your ex-girlfriend and
she will bleed."
Yes, there are all kinds of people in this world. Sadly, the real-life incident I'm about to relate brought both happy
and sad tears to my eyes. It reveals both the good and bad
in human nature, and, not surprisingly, the beauty and good
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in dog nature.
Based on a post from today's Examiner, the story concerns an abusive relationship in which the woman's Great Dane becomes her hero.
Sadly, it seems the boyfriend had a violent streak, and, for
whatever reason, one day he began beating his girlfriend with
both ends of a hammer. Whether they owned the Great Dane
together I don't know, but the dog reacted courageously by jumping
into the fray and, by laying himself across the woman, absorbing
most of the blows.
If anybody doesn't feel that animals are intelligent and can
be compassionate and courageous, this story should enlighten
them. Finally, the man threw both the woman and the dog out of the second-story window. What a gem.
The dog's injuries were severe, and included a broken hip, broken ribs,
and other broken bones.
The woman was taken to a women's shelter in Kansas City. There, the center's chief executive officer, Susan Miller, while acknowledging that the Great Dane had saved the woman's life, declared that the shelter did not accept pets.
The beautiful human victim, however, would not abandon her heroic
animal friend, who had shown he was much more then just a "pet." If the shelter would not take him in, she obviously had to look elsewhere. But
she knew in her heart that this beautiful Great Dane would never
again live under the same roof as their abuser.
In the end, the shelter relented, making an exception for the heroic dog, because it realized the woman's life would be in danger if she should leave the security of the shelter.
Abused Women Often Will Not Leave Their Pets
The stats are not encouraging in cases where a pet resides in an abusive
situation. According to Susan Miller, "Forty percent of the women will not leave their pets, so they live in their cars or they stay [with the abuser]. They risk their own life or the life of their children."
One woman would not desert her pet and lived with him in her
car for four months while waiting to find a pet-friendly shelter.
Well, the Great Dane in the story I've related not only saved his owner, but served as a much-needed catalyst in getting the Rose Brook Shelter to add a pet-friendly wing for abused women with pets they need
to bring with them. Another motivation was the realization that children are happier when they can keep pets they've grown to love.
So Rose Brook added seven kennels and a pet-friendly
play area. In doing so, it became the first shelter in the area to
accept pets. I hope it won't be the last.
Sadly, I doubt that other states have displayed a similar compassion in providing the facilities needed at shelters to enable women and their children to bring their pets with them. I'm almost certain Ohio does not provide such facilities.
Doesn't a Mother Cat Need Shelter Too?
Years ago, my niece Vicky worked in a women's shelter, and asked me if she could bring a mother cat and her two kittens to
my house. She said the shelter told her to take them to an animal
shelter. I could not help thinking, Where was their compassion?
Doesn't a homeless mother cat need shelter too?
Vicki knew full well what would happen to the mother cat and her
kittens in a shelter. In the 1990s, many of the shelter dogs and
cats would be snapped up by research hospitals under the
terrible and unjust Pound Seizure law. Thankfully, most states have dropped this archaic and cruel law. The thought of the Cleveland Clinic's animal research floor. which a Cleveland inspector told me he had seen, never allowed me to feel good about the clinic.
Slowly but surely, the use of animals for medical research is proving to be the bust it was always destined to be. I recently read that the mouse protocol has led to serious defects in research results, because the bodily systems of mice are significantly different from our own. Since observations and deductions based on mice research have proved unreliable for meeting human medical needs, millions of mice have been sacrificed on the high altar of animal research for nothing.
Yes, many people, including knowledgeable doctors, have been telling
the Institute of Health about the uselessness of animal protocols for human medical research, but neither the Institute of Health nor Congress will listen. Our only hope at the moment seems to be that animals will not be used as cruelly as they have been for so many years by the biomedical community.
I'll conclude with a final note about the mother cat and her kittens. Yes, I told Vicki to bring them over. Heather, Martin, and Friskie all joined my growing animal rescue family. Sadly, they are all gone now, including my niece Vicky, but they will never be forgotten. This will surely bring
more tears to my sister's eyes, because Vicky was her daughter.