Help prevent pet neglect

It doesn't matter if we are a pet lover or not, everybody will experience an occasional feelinging the heart when they know of a pet who is clearly neglected.

Some cases of neglect are blatantly obvious. For example, the dog who is tied on a chain or left in a kennel in the backyard. The scrawney cats and dogs we all sometimes see, who we know belong to someone, but clearly not someone who feeds them enough.

Although there are laws protecting animals from abuse or neglect to some degree, laws generally require that only the animals’ basic needs are met. In its mildest description, this means that food, water and shelter are provided. Therefore, if an officer visits the home and the dog has a dog house, there is a water bowl, and the owners have a bag of food on the premises, it can be difficult to prove neglect or penalize pet owners even if they are barely doing the minimum.

 

Perhaps these pet owners should put themselves into their dog’s position for a moment. Imagine if they were wearing a fur coat in summer, left out in the hot sun with nothing but a steamy wooden box to go into for “shelter,” and were given food and water only occasionally. Sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it?

However, minimums set aside, there are plenty of other pets who are neglected in a different way. Lack of socialization. Since dogs are pack animals, and most have been bred to interact regularly with humans, the loneliness and isolation of being alone out back can be a terrible existence for a dog.

Now, this is not to say that every single dog whose family prefers they live outside is a neglected animal. Plenty of pet owners make time each and every day to go outside and play with their dog, work on some obedience commands, and provide plenty of food, cold water, deep shade and veterinary care when needed.

Unfortunately, there are also a plethora of pet owners who perhaps mean well, but just don’t have the time. Between work schedules, family obligations and other things in life, many dogs fall by the wayside and don’t receive the attention and interaction they require.