If you are reading this, you probably are someone who keeps or at least cares about animals. You are in the majority. Most people have room for animals, if not in their homes, then at least in their hearts. But there are those who do not share our appreciation and respect for animals. Some of them you need to be wary of. A demented few actually are predators who want nothing more than to silence the neighbor's barking dog or terminate the roaming cat.
They are secretly brutal people who have no compunction for hurting innocent creatures. They are not concerned about right and wrong. They are self-centered, narcissistic individuals who want only to have things their own way. Their comfort and happiness trumps any other consideration.
Fortunately there are not a lot of these folks, but there are enough sprinkled around our communities so that pet owners need to be on their guard. As the author of several pet loss books, I receive a steady stream of e-mail and letters that tell horrific stories of abuse and brutality toward animals.
My own mother lost her outside cat to a neighbor who was later arrested after authorities discovered dozens of dead cats buried in his backyard. Strangely, he was a friendly sort who got along well with everyone. No one ever suspected that he was capable of such brutality. . The scariest thing is that he is not unique. There are many who set out poison, trap and even shoot unprotected animals.
I am not suggesting we give a free pass to those who refuse to leash or fence their pets. Certainly this is a responsibility that all need to assume. It is the law. But the purpose of those laws seems to have evolved. There was a time when leash and fencing laws were in place to keep one's pets from intruding into the yards and lives of neighbors. These days it seems those same laws now work more to the benefit and safety of our animals rather than for the neighbor
Allowing a dog or cat to roam around the neighborhood exposes them to dangers that having them on a leash or behind a fence would not. Responsible ownership does not just show respect for the law, but also shelters pets from potential dangers.
Now don't set up a video camera to keep an eye on your neighbors. They are probably nice folks who haven't a mean bone in their bodies. But do be aware that there is potential danger down the street. You can't control what others do, but you can take away the opportunity for them to do it to you or your pets. Keep your pets leashed and behind fences.
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Here! Here! I am an avid pet lover (right now I'm sharing space with 3 dogs and 2 cats). I love my pets! They truly are my best friends - I can tell them anything without worrying they'll spread it around the water cooler. I sure wish more people would be aware of how our pets depend on us to keep them safe. Good article!