2018, year of the dog

Dogs help us in so many ways and expect little in return. They serve in the military and police, locate victims in disasters, assist the disabled, and faithfully remain our loyal companions. A dog is ‘man’s best friend, but are we a dog’s best friend?

It is a tragic reality that dogs around the world are suffering from cruelty and abuse.The horrific puppy mill industry is thriving. The barbaric dog meat industry continues on, cruel dog fighting exists for our entertainment. Every year we destroy millions of healthy and adoptable dogs. If dogs were the dominant species, what would be our argument against cruelty and abuse?

We need to develop more compassion towards animals so we can stop the unethical way that they are treated every single day. There is a proven link between animal cruelty and human violence. Educate yourself. In this digital age, is there any excuse for ignorance?

The simple act of getting a poorly bred puppy from a puppy mill or an unethical backyard breeder can come at a big price and it’s not just financial. Breeding solely for profit or fun without regard for health and sound temperament, or new home, is destructive to the breeds. Dogs are a big part of our lives, and we are allowing breeders to breed our best friends to death.

Shelters are not filling up and there are not unwanted puppies because of responsible dog owners. Just because your dog is intact does not mean it has to reproduce or have an accidental litter. Not only does altering help with the overpopulation problem, saving lives of countless animals, but it also has many benefits for you, the dog, and the community.

Which breed best suits your lifestyle, what are the characteristics and temperament, how much daily exercise is needed? Unfortunately, far too many owners do not understand or accept the responsibility, cost and commitment, but foremost the impact of their choices.

If you are going to be a first-time owner is it wise to start with a strong ‘bully’ breed? What is the effort needed to properly train and socialize your breed of choice? What if your dog bites or mauls a person or another animal? The more powerful the breed the greater the responsibility.

Research has shown that teaching kids to be compassionate to animals can help them to become more kind and considerate. Moreover, it helps them be more respectful and valuable to society.  Animals can teach us what matters most in life. Are you listening?

Corinne Aselton

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