Dogs deserve better, says writer
While I understand animals are abused everywhere on the planet, walk down Water Street or Harvey Street in Harbour Grace and you will witness many dogs sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility for parole.
While these dogs have done nothing wrong and have never committed a crime, they’re subjected to a punishment worse than death — life at the end of a chain.
Many of these dogs are chained up 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week and some remain incarcerated like this their entire lives.
I have been visiting my family for years in NL and have witnessed many dogs on Water Street chained. They never go for a walk or to my knowledge played a game of fetch. They never enjoy a ride in a car and have never known a moment of love.
Family members and people in the community just walk by them, with tails wagging briefly when shown some compassion by a passerby. They quickly realize that it is short-lived.
These animals wake up each day to the same horrid conditions and nothing to look forward to, not even a friendly pat on the head.
These dogs endure living in all sorts of weather and, for the most part, just sit by their dog house wandering around the same area of the yard. A life of utter loneliness. I find it difficult to comprehend why anyone would acquire a dog and then choose to ignore the animal for the rest of his or her life.
Dogs are members of the family. They are loyal, patient, affectionate and sensitive. They are non-judgmental and provide unconditional love, something most humans are not capable of doing.
Dogs are always there for you, yet for some of the families who own these beautiful sentient beings are sadly not always there for them.
Animals experience the same feelings that humans do such as pain, fear, joy and sadness.
Dogs chained or penned for extended periods of time suffer from immense psychological damage. They bark incessantly out of loneliness, boredom and frustration. These poor dogs become depressed, sad, withdrawn, and as a result, many develop aggressive behaviour.
Aside from the severe emotional and social deprivation these animals experience, they will also suffer from exposure to extreme temperatures, medical neglect, dehydration, and parasite infestation.
These dogs are forced to eat, sleep and deposit their own waste in a single confined area.
Chaining a dog 24 hours-a-day is simply cruel and barbaric. It is an unacceptable treatment and should be banned.
As pet owners you are responsible for their well-being and it is up to you to care for and look after your pet the same as you would any member of your family.
Life is pretty bleak for those animals living outside.
People need to educate themselves and treat their animals with love and respect. They are living, breathing creatures that deserve love and to be cared for. They are not a lawn ornament.
This goes for all animals, if you plan on owning one, be willing to make the commitment.
There are responsible dog owners in Harbour Grace who I have witnessed walking their dogs. These dogs are loved and well cared for.
However, I find it a bit ironic that every year there is the Conception Bay Kennel Club Dog Show at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace. Sadly, not too far away from the doors of the stadium, you will hear the cries of those dogs languishing at the end of a chain.
Now cats? Well that’s another story.