December 14, 2005
There is a horrible type of abuse happening to pets everywhere. It is called "Apathy". Apathy is defined as
Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.
Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness
This abuse takes form in many ways, oh not by starving a pet, or by beating it. This causes a much more subtle, slower and more painful death. Not many people see the pets who are victim to this abuse. Usually it's a neighbor who also abuses the pet by not reporting it. They don't want to get involved or cause a neighbor dispute.
Maybe you see those pets that are victims? Dogs tied outside on chains. No shelter. Maybe it's just the "outside" dog that never gets petted but get food thrown at it daily. No it's not starving for food. It is starving for affection though.
Maybe it's that neighborhood cat that keeps hanging around having kittens. Nobody ever claims the cat as theirs..but they feed it just the same. They won't spend any money on the cat or dog because ...it's just a cat or it's just a dog. Instead of spaying or neutering this stray or calling animal control to come take care of it, they continue letting it hang around, producing more cats and puppies that nobody wants and who will become feral (wild), or will suffer with flea infestation, worms, starvation or a host of any other ills, and grow up to produce even more of the same.
Perhaps it’s the dog who is full of matts and has owners who don't know what a brush is. Did you know that matts get wet in winter and actually can cause hypothermia? Would you like to wear a wet blanket that never dries outside with the windchill below zero?
Dogs and cats that are neglected never get petted all over or get a bath. Tumors go unnoticed until it's too late. Teeth rot in the pets mouth, but it still eats...it must to survive. Pets ears get infected or have mites, they shake their heads over and over and over, but nobody does anything, then the blood pools in the ear flaps and becomes a hematoma, thick blood-filled flesh. Then again...it's JUST a dog.
Arthritis affects dogs just like people. How many arthritic people do you know of that live outside all the time in the winter but don't take any pain killers? It's JUST a dog . It doesn't feel pain like people right? Wrong. Pets are stoic about pain. It's survival of the fittest. If an animal shows the pain it's in, other animals will think it's weak and it might get eaten. At least that’s what your pet thinks. Believe me, pets feel pain. They feel physical pain as well as emotional pain.
Ever notice that the ignored dog still wags it's tail when it sees you? Always holding out hope that you may give it some crumbs of affection. What if it were a child? Wouldn't people be put in jail for ignoring their children and denying them medical attention?
Groomers and Vets see the victims of apathy daily. They belong to the owners who wait to have them groomed until winter and by then the pets are so horribly matted that the matts can't be removed without shaving off all the hair, and then being left to freeze outside. Maybe they belong to owners who waits until the tumor is as big as their hand and bleeding before they bother taking it to the vet, who by then can't do anything to help it.
Maybe it's the owner of the old, sick and dying pet that isn't humanely euthanized but instead they just wait for it to die on it's own, so it suffers, a long, painful death.
Maybe it's because they can't "afford" to take it to the vet. Yet they somehow manage to eat out, buy "necessities" like beer and cigarettes and maybe some cool stuff from Walmart. They won't give the pet up for adoption to someone else who would care for it better after all it is THEIR dog. They OWN it.
I so wish that apathetic people could just change places for ONE day with their pets. One day with food and water in a filthy dish, frozen water, no shelter. Maybe a chain around their neck too tight. How about all wounds would be left to fester, and a good case of fleas and ticks. How would you feel if you didn't wash your hair for over a year or brush it. Think it would look good? How many sores would your scalp have on it? Then you'd have to live outside and get wet in the rain, wearing that matted mop. Don't forget the fleas! Is your head itching yet?
Before you take home that puppy or kitten. Ask yourself if you can "afford" to take care of it for it's lifetime. Ask yourself if you have time to dedicate DAILY to this pets upkeep and emotional well being. You are for all intents and purposes this pets "parent" and as a parent you have responsibilities to care for your pet. It doesn't take money to play with your pet and brush it. While you are doing that if you run upon some medical issues, NOW is the time to take care of those things, don't let them fester, grow and eventually kill your pet while you sit back waiting for it to go away and pretending it doesn't exist. Would you avoid taking yourself or your child to the Dr. if you found huge festering sores and unexplainable lumps?
Apathy? No folks, it's reality. I see it everyday. I see it with people who are well off financially and have prestigious jobs. It isn't just happening to those who can't afford to properly take care of their pet. Apathy crosses all financial, racial and ethnic barriers. Stop letting this abuse continue. I sincerely hope this wakes up some people and they can see how abusive they truly are to their pets. I hope that reading this makes you a better pet parent, and you start to think, really THINK about your pet and how you could improve your ways. Your pet will love you for it. Sandy BlackburnYour Pet Care Professional atThe Groom RoomAttica, IN 47918(765) 764-4330