In an HSUS post I read that Wayne Pacelle has partnered with Michael Vick to try to stop the heinous crime of dog fighting. There are people though who do not agree that Vick should be given a second chance, and they will never forgive him. Very sad and very wrong. If His God, my God, and your God can forgive his crime, how can we not? But it is also very difficult to forget, and I have to admit that every time I see his face I think of the poor pit bulls he mistreated, traumatized, and killed. So forgetting is the true test. I hope one day to see his picture and not remember his past terrible crimes to innocent dogs.
But I keep wondering that certainly he must realize how hard it is for many of us to forget, so why does he still want to get a dog for his children? As someone remarked in the comments at this site- it would be like allowing a pedophile to adopt a young child. However, his ban on owning a dog will soon be over. I wish he could respect the people who can't forget his past and let it go. The family can have cats as well as other pets, and surely the children would be happy to own a pet of any kind. However, I do believe he will get a dog next year when the ban is over.
I liked a comment here who someone made re the incidence of OTHER dog cruelty. She said that while dog fighting is a horrific, bloody, and cruel "sport," it is not the only cruelty perpetrated on dogs. She reminds us that the members of a supposedly devout "Christian" group are responsible for the most unimaginable cruelty to dogs in puppy mills. The so-called gentle people- the Amish are among the largest group of people who run these horrible large scale commercial breeding operations. Last summer a church group in my parish said they were going to visit the Ohio Amish. I cringed and could only sigh in disappointment. They too have this wrong perception of a people who they think live simply and care deeply about their family and animals.
This commentor noted that many of the Amish -especially those who live in the popular Pennsylvania's Dutch Country in Lancaster County have the highest concentration of puppy mills in the entire nation, and it is considered the puppy mill capital west of the Mississippi River. Thankfully though, recently the lawmakers of Pennsylvania have come up with new and tougher regulations. This has not prevented the most hardened abusers to leave Pennsylvania to move to Ohio and New York and other states where the laws are more lenient. I am saddened to find out that Ohio is one of the leaders in the shameful Amish dog auctions. I know that there are people here who are working hard to abolish this terrible practice. I pray that they succeed.
I have often read about the abuse of the dogs who suffer in puppy mills, but I believe this writer (Maryann E) has described it most powerfully in all its gore and suffering to these poor dogs. She wrote: "In puppy mills, dogs are kept in tiny cages, denied vet care, fed horribly, and exist to do nothing but breed every six months. They are killed when they become useless, or humane groups rescue them .....just to keep them from being killed.
(While in their cages) they chew off their own legs from disease or (just) despair, suffer from diseases and injuries that are never treated.... are filled with lice and ticks, have skin diseases, hair grown so matted that they can't stand or even have bowel movements.... their teeth fall out, their eyes are damaged from the stench of urine, and cages are stacked so that waste falls on the dogs below. The Amish also have a practice (outlawed now, but it's still being done) of pounding pipes down a dog's throat to destroy the vocal chords so that when tourists stop by to buy their pies and furniture, they don't hear the dogs barking in the hot or unheated and filthy barns."
Maryann suggests that if this sounds incredulous to us the reader -to just google "Amish Puppy Mills" and then we will probably come to the same realization as she- that as horrible as dog fighting is, it is not the only terrible cruelty perpetrated on dogs. And as she notes- that at least dog fighting is done by thugs who you would expect to engage in such barbaric behaviour. But these terrible puppy mills are run by people who claim to be Christian. It really boggles the mind.
She also reminds us to NOT support puppy mills. We do if we buy from pet stores or on the internet. Both entities buy their pets from puppy mills. There are so many needy dogs in shelters- so why would any one buy from a pet store or on the internet? If they want a pure breed, they are often found in shelters or from internet rescue sites.
Maryann wrote about adopting four dogs from humane groups - two of whom were Amish puppy mill survivors. "Mindy, a Lhasa Apso was rescued by an Ohio group who bought her at an Amish auction. She weighed 10 pounds and was abut to deliver 7 puppies, so you can imagine how emaciated she was. Now healthy, she weighs 12 pounds -without carrying 7 puppies. Annie, a Pomeranian, was rescued from Pennsylvania Amish and had such an enormous hernia that the shelter people initially could not tell if she was a male or female. She is so emotionally damaged that even after being safe with us for nearly a year, and being on Prozac for six months, she still will not come to us and hides beside the sofa most of the day."
So Maryann wisely counsels that we should get over our vendetta with Michael Vick. He spent time in jail for what he did- whereas most puppy millers never see the inside of a jail. I also personally think it is shameful that their crimes are hidden and most people are not even aware as that church group I spoke of. How to get the message across? Sadly I would probably have no success at all in sending this article to Catholic church newspapers and magazines. I recently thought of subscribing to America - the Jesuit publication. I got my first free copy today. After perusing it, I e-mailed them my disappointement. I told them that they were like all the other Catholic publications I have subscribed to in the past. They had nothing about the animals. In my e-mail letter to them I asked if I was wrong to care about God's animal creation? I asked them if they thought that God didn't care about the animals as I did. Of course, I probably will get no answer from them, nor do I expect one.