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We are diseased

To the Editor:

Yes, you read that correctly. Gates County and Hertford County are suffering from a disease.

Some folks have been diseased a lifetime, some just beginning. Many others choose to ignore this disease.

What is this disease? Where did it come from? It is lack of humanity, empathy and compassion. I’m just not sure where it came from, but it appears to attack all types of people of all ages. The victim is our faithful companion, the dog.

As you ride through Gates and Hertford counties glance in the yards. Some will be hidden in the far corners of a backyard and some right out in the open. Some will have heavy chains connected to them with locks and others just simple ropes, chains or tie outs. Some will be enclosed in tiny pens or kennels they can barely move in. They struggle to stay warm and dry during the cold winter months, begging you to comfort them.

You look away as they pace and whine and stand in their own waste. They struggle to stay cool and hydrated in the hot summer months. You look away as they heavily pant and dig further in the dirt for coolness. They struggle to survive just one more day of your neglect and abuse. This is the life of the outdoor dogs of Gates and Hertford County.

Some were once a loved puppy, a family member. So what happened? Their families didn’t do their homework on the type or breed of dog, couldn’t make a lifetime commitment, and or lack basic dog 101.

I have heard all the excuses. “My dog knocked my child down. My dog pooped in the house. We are having a baby. He won’t stop jumping. He chews on things.”

The problem lies with the two-legged animal, YOU! A dog is a responsibility, the same as a toddler. You have to train and teach them how to act and what is expected. But instead in our rural society we toss them outside on chains or in pens to live horrible lives.

You have dogs that have never known a kind touch. There are puppies being born to mothers that live on the ends of chains or in pens. This cycle continues because the owners lack funds to spay/neuter their dog, just don’t care, or choose to pimp out their dog for money.

There are dogs that are brought home to go immediately on a chain or in a pen. What do all of these dogs have in common: neglect, depression, fear, defeat, solitude, lack of basic care, lack of medical care and what every animal needs – love and companionship.

Dogs are not inanimate objects. They feel just as we do. They suffer at your hands.

How do we change the lack of humanity and compassion towards dogs and other animals in our counties? We must hold neglectful owners responsible and accountable for their cruelty and we must EDUCATE. We must teach humanity. We must teach compassion. We, meaning our County Commissioners, County Managers, Mayors, Sheriffs, and Animal Control Officers must write and enforce humane animal welfare ordinances with 100% enforcement and we must BAN CHAINING of any kind at any time.

These thoughts will be continued.

Carol Whitt

Gates