Brother, Can You Spare a Milk-Bone®?

The effort in the recent Colorado floods shows our rescue missions for animals have come a long way since the pet loss disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, where people would not evacuate for fear of leaving their pets. CBS reported that some helicopters rescuing people in the Colorado flooding carried more dogs, cats and fish than people. Rescuers, using zip lines to evacuate people over the enlarged raging rivers, also risked their lives to make sure the animal members of the families were safe. The National Guard took the posture that including the pets in the rescue helped convince reluctant residents to leave their homes. Once the pets were on dry ground, the Red Cross shelters had water bowls, on-site kennels and other supplies so the already anxious evacuees would not have to be separated from their pets.

If we can rally around a disaster to ensure our four-legged companions are safe, why can’t we do the same in our day-in, day-out regular life? You have an ex-marine in Glennie, Mich., accused of torturing five dogs and six horses. In August, we had the second-largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history affecting 372 dogs in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Georgia. These dogs ranged in age between a few days and 12 years old and were left to suffer in life-threatening heat with no visible fresh water or food, while some were tethered by chains and cables to cinder blocks and car tires. [T]hen you have an animal control officer in Long Island facing multiple charges because he had 850 snakes in his house and garage. When does our morality [related to] the sacredness of kindness in life kick in?

There are success stories. In Monticello, Ky., 80 dogs were rescued from a puppy mill. The Brown County Animal Center near Cincinnati was going to have to euthanize eight dogs at the end of the week, so they started a campaign for adoptions, and 10 dogs were adopted in time. [I]n all reality, [though], there are just not enough success stories to brag about.

The fourth quarter of the year is when we celebrate all kinds of holidays that reinforce our commitment to each other. We also should be taking care of the cats and dogs that are not as fortunate to have secure homes. We can help those suffering in Colorado from people to animals, [and] if you […] want to volunteer to help all animals in all cities, The Humane Society has a wonderful program to join their animal rescue team, where you can help save animals who are the victims of illegal animal cruelty and natural disasters. […]

In 2012, according to Statistic Brain, there were a little over 5,000 animal shelters in the United States. Five million animals entered these shelters, and 3.5 million were euthanized. […] Taxpayers pay $2 billion annually to round up, house and dispose of homeless animals. […] [T]hese numbers are mind-boggling, [y]et we only think about these poor victims when there is a flood in Colorado or a dog-fighting raid in Alabama. Since the majority of us are pet owners and pet lovers, these blameless animals that need our help every day should be at the top of our minds. Helping to support animals in need is the core of our decency. These innocent animals give us much happiness; let’s do everything we can to eliminate their pain and suffering and get them into loving homes.

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