Animals Have Rights

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It seems like animals only have rights if we humans say they have rights. We’ve all seen animals abused by owners. Every pet that lives outside the home must have shelter, food, water, and veterinary care when they are sick. Do they all get it? Unfortunately, no they don’t. An example of how inhumane some animal owners can be, I heard about this woman (from an online source) that had a puppy chained to a tree. He had no shelter. She put his food and water just out of his reach so he would strain and whine. The owner said she was trying to train the dog to speak, and she with held food and water to try and make the dog bark on command. I was sickened by how cruel that woman was. I kept up with the writings of this neighbor that witnessed this abuse. The neighbor contacted authorities and the puppy was finally taken away from the home and adopted by someone else.

Many people, even in today’s enlightened world, do not accept that animals are senscient beings. They don’t believe that a dog has feelings and emotions. You might say, it’s just a dog, or it’s just a cat. No, it’s not just a dog or just a cat. It is a dog or cat, but it also has thoughts, feelings and emotions. Animals need a clean place to live. If you have an animal for a pet (and I hate to use the word pet, because to me an animal is part of my family) you have a responsibility for that animal. The animal cannot clean up after itself; that will be your job.

Without a clean environment in which to live an animal will become very sick and could die of a bacterial infection. If you have a dog that lives in a closed in kennel or yard you will need to keep that area clean, which means you will need to go into the area with a pail, plastic bag or wheelbarrow and shovel to clean out the fecal material that has collected in that area. If fecal material is allowed to stay in a closed in area the dog will end up stepping in it and then taking the bacteria into its body when the dog licks its paws to clean them. Your dog could become very sick and come down with diarrhea and become dehydrated.

If you are a cat lover, you know you have to keep the cat’s litter pan clean. Cats scratch around in the litter and they will get fecal material onto their paws if their litter pan is not kept clean.The cat licks its paws to clean itself and swallows potentially harmful bacteria.

Your animals have rights to adequate fresh food and clean water. You wouldn’t eat food that is left on your plate for 2 or 3 days, so you shouldn’t expect your dog, cat or other furry friend to have to eat food and drink water that is less than fresh. So many people don’t take a moment’s notice about the cleanliness of their pet’s food.

Your pet has a right to expect to be loved and cared for. Imagine your dog looking to you for a scratch or a rub on the neck. Imagine him asking to be petted and talked to, and then imagine you turned your back on him because he is just a dumb dog. Why do people even get pets for when they treat them worse than they would treat a table or chair. Dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals are not furniture. They are not pieces of cargo, they are living beings with feelings.

I think we humans like to play down the idea that animals have rights, because we think of ourselves as supreme. We think that we are on the top of the food chain and everything else is a slave to us, and subject to our whims. It’s not right. We wouldn’t think of treating our children this way, but have no problem with treating a dog like an inanimate object.

Imagine being a dog on a chain with a tight collar around your neck. Imagine living out in the open without even a roof over your head to keep the rain off your fur. Imagine you have no place to huddle to get warm in the winter. I think if we could put ourselves in the place of our animals we might see that they have a better life than many of us give them.

In this article I am talking about animals that we choose to have for pets, but I believe all animals have rights to be treated with dignity. Farmers that raise animals for food purposes should treat those animals humanely, and kill them in the most humane way. Hunters go out into the woods to hunt game for sport. This is cruel. It is one thing to hunt animals for food purposes, but it is quite another to take an animal’s life for the pure fun of it. Imagine being hunted for sport. Imagine how helpless you would feel when cornered. Imagine an arrow or a bullet inflicting its deadly blow. Now imagine they just killed you for the fun of it.

There are laws now that make it a felony to abandon an animal, but they are only enforceable if you can locate the people who abandoned the animal. Just the other day a young pup that looks to be part ridgeback and part hound was dropped off by our house. She is a darling little thing just starved for attention. We took her in. We didn’t need another dog, that is for sure, but we couldn’t just let the little girl wander and starve to death or get hit by a car. We didn’t get a license plate of the person dropping the dog off. It was early in the morning, before daylight and I had taken my Chihuahua out to use the potty and I saw this car slow up and open their car door and throw her out. They didn’t even stop, they just kept rolling. How cruel can anyone be? We named her Cammy. I look into her eyes and I see grateful eyes looking back at me. She gives me kisses, and craves attention. I think anyone that would just throw her away like garbage would do their own children that way if they thought they could get away with it.

It’s high time that we humans who profess to be so enlightened wake up and learn how to treat animals. It’s time we think how we would want to be treated if we were that same animal. If more of us could feel empathy toward the animal world we would learn that they have rights to be treated well.

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