Violence against animals senseless and ignorant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 20, 2007

We've seen it before in and around Butler County, but we were reminded of the senselessness of some people's actions this week when police and animal control officers discovered the bodies of two puppies in a Montgomery home, apparently left to die there by the owner who had moved away.

Even in Butler County we've viewed incident reports this year where pet owners have left their animals locked inside cars with not a single windows cracked and the automobile parked directly in the sunlight. In the summer months, with the humidity such as it is in south Alabama, it takes very little time before a pet becomes dehydrated and can suffer heatstroke and suffocation. According to The Partnership for Animal Welfare: &#8220Animals are not able to sweat like humans do. Dogs, especially, cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws. If they have only overheated air to breathe, animals can collapse, suffer brain damage and possibly die of heatstroke. Just 15 minutes can be enough for an animal's body temperature to climb from a normal 102.5 to deadly levels that will damage the nervous and cardiovascular systems, often leaving the animal comatose, dehydrated and at risk of permanent impairment or death.”

The majority of people who commit these acts likely see their pet as little more than a toy; not a living, breathing creature that must be cared for, fed and nurtured. If it dies, it dies, they think. Oh well. Bury it or toss it in the dumpster. I can go get another.

There is no excuse for ignorant and outright cruelty. But what should we expect? In a world where parents kill their own children, why should the murder of an animal come as such a surprise?