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    Why We All Need Animal Cops

    By LifeWriter

    Lifewriter writes on issues of child abuse, mental health and animal issues. She is published at www.Writing.Com, a site for Writers.

    How many of us sit glued to our television sets when "Animal Cops" is on Animal Planet? I'm not ashamed to raise my hand. I watch every episode that I can.

    With each new episode, I learn something. I also become more frustrated at the lack of available services for our pets.

    Picture if you will a scenario: A renter is required to pay a certain amount per each pet; 2 pet maximum. Yet, this renter cannot help but take in animals in need, even going so far as to hide them from her landlord. After all, every dollar helps when one is trying to help animals, plus, being over the permitted amount of pets, she faces legal eviction.

    Still, this renter continues to accept animals in need. One night, she receives a young puppy so desperately ill he cannot nurse any longer. A puppy so ill that he requires emergency veterinarian care. He is so weak that he is unable to even hold his head up or drink a bit of water.

    There's no vet to be found. Knowing this puppy will likely die that night, the renter does what little she can to keep the puppy warm and comfortable, and waits for him to die.

    As I sit and write this, that puppy is sleeping mere inches from me. Yes, I'm anticipating his death tonight. I don't like it, but that's the way it is.

    After searching for emergency vet care, or even an open shelter, I came up empty. The one veterinarian within five miles of me has an answering machine with a message to call back during business hours.

    Now, if I were living in New York City, or the surrounding areas, which is where I hail from, I could easily call the ASPCA and feel secure that an officer would come and rescue this animal.

    But because I live in a tiny town in Alabama, that's not an option.

    Thus, this puppy will likely die tonight. As I watch him struggling to breathe, an awful mix of emotions overwhelms me. I'm angry, frustrated, sad, and feeling incredibly helpless. I know I cannot save this puppy.

    If even one agency like the ASPCA existed in each county in our country, many more pets could and would be saved.

    Here in the South, animals are often looked upon as property. That's one reason we don't have access to such agencies. Animals simply are not a priority here and are not often viewed as pets.

    It's very common to drive down any street, country road, even a neighborhood and see dogs chained forever to their doghouses, with little, if any room to exercise.

    Another problem we have in Alabama is that it's one of the poorest states in the country. People simply cannot afford to spay or neuter their "property", and feel it's not their responsibility, especially if their pet is male.

    The result is litter upon litter of unwanted, abused and neglected animals who otherwise could have made some wonderful pets.

    We rescued such a cat a few months back. He was an outdoor kitten, and when his house burned to the ground, his owner threw him and a sibling into a sack and headed for the lake. Somehow, this boy managed to escape not only the sack, but the car as well.

    Thankfully he did, because he is one terrific companion and we are thankful to have him.

    But what of this puppy lying beside me? All I can offer him tonight is a caring, gentle touch, a warm fluffy towel to sleep wrapped in, and all the love I can cram into one long, sleepless night for me whilst I watch over him.

    For in the morning, I know he will not be with us. All I can do for him is simply not enough to save his life.

    We have 9-1-1 for human emergencies. Why do we not have the same for our animal companions?

    What a waste. He would have made someone a wonderful companion.

    This month's Newsletter.

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