Lara Hawbaker: Twin Tiers Perspective: Part of the solution, not the problem
What I am going to say is straight to the point, so I apologize now if I offend anyone. It wasn't until my later years in life when I started working as an animal cop at a local shelter, that I realized how wrong some things are here in the United States. That being said, I want you to know that I love our country and have family and friends who helped fight for our country.
There are many topics of conversations about how this country is doing that may ignite a heated debate. None more present to me then what I am about to speak of. Years of being a corrections officer working with juvenile's and adults, too now dealing with animals, has lead me to believe that people take the easy way out more than not. Breeding animals is all about the money the bottom line, getting the top dollar. For example- horse breeders, do you think they care how many they produce? And what will happen to them. Sure some may end up in forever homes, but most end up in homes where they are starved, neglected, abused, sent to slaughter or just abandoned. Then those of us whose job it is to save the animals, has to clean up from someone's lack of responsibility.
Why should the government care about horses in mass-production then shipped to slaughter houses? They don't care, because they are making money from exporting the meat. Meat that - due to regulations - we do not eat here in the United States. So what is next, a slaughter house for dogs and cats? Other countries eat dogs and cats. The government wants to give horse people the right to take the easy way out; what's to say that later it would not include dogs and cats. This is a sick thought I know, and right now shelters and rescues take on the responsibility for some of the unwanted pets, but when will the madness end?
Ask yourself how many people you know that breed animals for profit, hoping to get rich quick. Then ask that very person if they can tell you without a doubt what has happened to all of those animals they produced? What has been happening to animals all across the United State's has sadly been ignored by lawmakers and the government. Maybe the reason is that they have an animal or animals that they invest money into or receive money from. That being said, they do not care that shelters and rescues across the United States are struggling to take care of the overwhelming number of unwanted pets.
I don't know about other shelters, but our little one relies strictly on donations and the kindness of others. We do not receive any money from big shots like P.E.T.A or the National Humane Society of America. Even the government cut some of the money we used to get from the state grant program. That money helped pay our electric bills, veterinary expense and other things just to operate the shelter.
The easy way out! You produce it, don't want it, send it to someone else to deal with it. This is what we are teaching our youth today. It's OK not to take responsibility for something you helped to bring into this world; just take the easy way out and let someone else take responsibility for your mess up. Than you can without consequence do the same thing over again. Does this sound like something you have seen or heard before?
If the breeder had to pay a fee to the local shelter in the area for every type of animal they produce, a micro chip placed in the animal by a veterinary and a photo along with information about the breeder and the new owner - like your drivers license. Maybe if things were made tougher on breeders and they held more responsible there might be less production. The whole concept is less animals produced, less cruelty to animals.
Let's set an example for our young people. And quit thinking about the mighty dollar at the animal's expense that leads to the easy way out. We can and will as a nation:
1. Cut down on the amount of unwanted animal's in the United States.
2. Work together to develop more affordable spay, neuter and geld programs.
3. Cut the costs of caring for other people's animal's to all involved.
4. Cut the need for slaughter houses for horses.
5. Most important to show the young people how to be responsible.
This can be done, we have the technology and the know how to succeed. It is my opinion that those who make a profit from the misfortune of the animals do not wish to see anything done. The breeders would rather continue to be the problem and not the solution. Is this you? Opt to adopt or rescue and be a part of the solution not the problem.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lara Hawbaker is an animal protection officer.