Friday, April 16, 2010

Appreciating animal control this week

These are my delightfully sucky cats. Betty on the left was given to me by a friend, and Wilma on the right had her start at the Regina Humane Society. We don’t know what Wilma’s life was before she arrived at their doorsteps. All we know is that she was unwanted. She could have simply been dropped off. She could have been in distress. We’ll never know. What we do know is that she was given a second chance because of animal control and protection laws.

According to RHS, this week is Animal Control Appreciation Week. So I think, we should all hug an animal protection officer – or at least show our appreciation. These are the wonderful women and men who give animals a second chance by working at humane societies, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and in municipalities to enforce the Criminal Code of Canada, the Animal Protection Act and municipal bylaws.

This cartoon is a really nice tribute those who work in this field.

In the business of animals, animal control and animal protection are two distinct things – one is about keeping animals safe from people, the other about keeping people safe from animals.

I prefer to think about it in context of Gandhi’s famous quote, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I see that good animal protection practices results in good animal control, which helps to create strong, safe and healthy communities – that people who treat animals well, also treat each other well. For example, when an unsterilized animal is malnourished, untrained and allowed to roam, a child is easily harmed. No one wins and our society pays the price. Conversely, when animals are treated with kindness and compassion – they’re sterilized and receive proper food, water, shelter and care, kindness spills over to how people treat each other. I’m a bit of an idealist that way.

Do your part to help animal control and protection – sterilize your pet, treat it well and help a friend or neighbour be kind to animals. And to the fine animal protection and control workers, thank you so much for all you do!

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