In Arkansas, the Pulaski Co Humane Society is caring for dozens of emaciated, flea-ridden pets seized from a local home:
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of two starving horses loose on East Mail Route Road. Officers located their owner, but saw there was an even bigger situation. More than 30 dogs and cats were in various stages of malnutrition.
The owner, Shelia Ford, was arrested. Four of the dogs are “clinging to life”. The local TV news reported on the case and Kay Simpson of the Pulaski Co HS used the opportunity to blame the public for not having a mandatory spay-neuter law:
The staff says these are the faces of what happens without a sterilization law. Simpson explains, “There needs to be something done to stop these animals from suffering because we’re to blame.”
Ms. Ford was responsible for caring for these pets. Ms. Ford surrendered them to the shelter. Ms. Ford was charged with four counts of felony animal cruelty and 30 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Explain to me how we make the leap from Ms. Ford to all of us who don’t neuter our pets against our will.
I have no idea what the back story is on this case. Maybe Ms. Ford is mentally ill, maybe she’s a well intentioned person who got in over her head and didn’t know where to turn for help, or maybe she likes starving pets. That information is unknowable for me. What I do know is that the “we’re to blame” way of thinking is antiquated. It’s been replaced by a new thing called logic.
Ms. Ford is clearly the person responsible for the condition of her pets. And if there was a mandatory spay-neuter law, who is to say Ms. Ford would have complied with it or that the situation would have been any different? Again, unknowable. But we do know that MSN doesn’t save pets’ lives. “We” – the so-called irresponsible public – do.
And by the way, the article closes with a mention of the shelter needing food and donations to pay for veterinary care. Anyone feel motivated to send in a donation to this shelter after hearing “we’re to blame” for the suffering of Ms. Ford’s pets?
Update, August 5: The puppy who looked to be in such rough shape in the video has died.