It seems that nowadays there is a time to celebrate everything in our lives, bring awareness to issues, or remember those of the past. Last week brought about National High-Five Day, National Cheese Day, and National Pet Day. While I do love high-fives, cheese, and pets, it seems absurd. Not to stick with a trend here and continue to celebrate random days, weeks, and months chosen to represent something, but I am going to talk about Animal Cruelty Prevention Month.
I’ve always watched Animal Cops on TV and cried over the terrible things that happen to animals at the hands of the people who should take care of them. I’ve fostered abuse and neglect cases and seen firsthand what the physical and psychological damage can do to animals. It’s awful. The worst part is, often the punishments are minimal for the people who commit these cruel acts. If a person was locked away in a barn to rot in their own feces, the person who did that to them would be thrown in jail, no questions asked. But when it’s an animal, a fine and a slap on the wrist are often all that comes of a punishment.
It seems so wrong to me, and I feel like it should to anyone with a soul and any standard of morals. These animals are dependent on us to take care of them, and they should at least be provided with their basic needs. Every cat doesn’t need a ten story cat condo and professional grooming, nor does every horse need a gorgeous barn with ten acres of turnout, but they all need TLC and the simple things like food, water, and veterinary care.
Working at the humane society, it breaks my heart to see what stories the dogs and cats come in with. Not all are terrible and some are even understandable such as unforseen financial circumstances, but the occasional case really hurts. All of this being said, once we have them and can provide them with the care they need, the turnaround is often so rewarding. Dogs that were cowering in the back of their kennels on arrival can go to their forever home with tail wagging and head held high. This makes all the initial sorrows to deal with worth it in the end!
I never imagined myself saying this, and I was warned at the beginning of the year that a change in career plans might happen, but I feel like I might have an interest in shelter medicine. At least I know that when I’m an actual real-life veterinarian, I’d like to donate some of my time and resources (hopefully I can afford it) to help local shelters and rescue organizations out with veterinary care as a thank you to all they do for the animals in our world.