Tuesday, October 07, 2008
In Case You Aren't on Facebook...
So, I've just gotten back from my 2nd volunteer day at the SPCA, tending to the puppy mill dogs. I want to tell you how amazing these animals are, and what a rewarding experience this has been - but I'd rather you experience it yourself.
Emaciated, frightened and having suffered unspeakable horror - these little guys want nothing more than to have some positive human interaction. Some are gung-ho to be cuddled, others need more coaxing. But they are all a glowing example of how resilient dogs can be, and how they truly live in the moment.
Imagine a yorkie - it's eyes filmy with cataracts, it's fur sparse and unhealthy, it's back bent in a strange way. This was the breeder male, no doubt for countless adorable offspring sent to pet stores. But he was left to live his life in a tupperware container - holes poked through for air. Never seeing the sun, never feeling the grass, never knowing anything but the cold, dark spaces around him.
I met this little guy tonight, and he was timid to come to the front of his cage, but he did. And he stood there, accepting what little love I could offer him. And when you pet these dogs or you hold them, and you know that they are receiving the love as entirely as they can, you almost feel guilty. Because it doesn't feel like enough after what they have been through. You want to apologize on behalf of the twisted human race.
People make me f*ck*ng sick, pardon the language. How can a guy go on TV and say - "There's nothing wrong with my dogs, they're healthy. i haven't done anything wrong".... When anyone with half a brain would recognize this as a clear cut case of animal cruelty - EN MASSE!! Rows of cages, piles of feces, dogs crammed into tiny cages with atrophied legs and visible ribcages and scabs and disease....
Before I left that little old yorkie's cage, I gave him a towel to curl up in. And he did -hungrily. I wondered what he slept on for so many nights before - his own feces, cage bars, his dead cage mate....
Okay, so I've tended to go on here, but I want you to know, I won't stop talking about this ...on the radio, in my life...because Quebec is an utter embarrassment to the world when it comes to the way we handle animal cruelty. We are backwoods and loopholed and ancient and it's time to step up, not just on behalf of animals but on behalf of basic human kindness.
I'm not a bleeding heart or a Peta disciple or a crazy cat lady - and frankly - I don't really like the whole "flowery" approach typically attached to causes like this one because it ends up coming off as granola or something. And I fear that approach sometimes loses peoples' respect. So let me tell you straight:
I'm just a person like you who thinks its about time the government listened to us. Cruelty in any form - whether leveled against women or children or ANYONE, including animals is completely unacceptable. It's intolerable. And it needs to be punished severely with significant jail time, fines and not allowing these types of people to ever own animals again. It's the only way to stop the proliferation of puppy mills.
It is estimated there are around 1500 puppy mills in Quebec. That is thousands upon thousands of animals languishing in squalor and dying as we speak. And the people operating these places consider these dogs a commodity - a quick way to make a buck - and perhaps most horrifying of all, they don't see a damn thing wrong with it!
I know you see the images on TV and turn away, but I'm asking you not to. And I hope that by seeing them, it doesn't make you immune. And it doesn't make you think it's somehow not real. Spend an hour volunteering at the SPCA and there will be no more doubt in your mind. This is real. And this is happening right now. (plus you will totally fall in love with these dogs!!)
Okay, that was a total stream of consciousness that I didn't know would pour out so fast. But, thanks for reading. And please, if you can't volunteer - then donate:towels, blankets, toys, treats, money, food, latex gloves, paper towels, newspapers .....
Ask your MP how they will represent your views in parliament and how seriously they take this matter. Ask them to support a change of law.
The SPCA website has a petition you can print and get people to sign. They also have a letter template to send your MP.
The time for change is NOW. We can do this. We have to.