Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The question of PAIN in animals answered – and what this means for neglected animals

I recently had my attention drawn to an article about pain in animals that was published in the Tufts Veterinary Medicine publication for Winter 2013. The quote that drew my attention:
“As recently as a decade ago, most veterinarians assumed that animals didn’t feel pain, or at least experienced it differently than humans. Now all evidence points to the contrary. Research has shown that animals and humans have similar neural pathways for the development, conduction and modulation of pain, making it pretty likely that our pets experience pain in much same the way we do.”
This issue is so frequently debated and misunderstood that I felt the need to underscore this recent finding from a respected veterinary school.  Especially considering that here in rural Central Virginia, it’s often likely that the majority of pets are kept entirely outdoors and often with NO veterinary care at all.  Dogs typically live and die at the end of a chain or, if running loose, hit by a car or killed by other animals.  The concept of considering the pain suffered by these animals  that are left to the ravages of neglect, disease, injury, and often starvation with no attention or intervention is profound and certainly, if seriously considered by most minimally compassionate humans, would be cause for taking some action to prevent the prevalence of such needless suffering.  And yet – that action is rarely taken.
I don’t have the answer to why attention at the local level is so rarely brought to bear on the inhumanity with which we keep our companion animals (not to mention those not considered companion animals.)  Having tried on many occasions to bring that attention into focus in my own local community and among the local animal advocates, I have experienced not only the apathy but even surprisingly opposition from local advocates who don’t want “to go there.”  To “go there” means to address the sometimes stinging realities that dictate the cultural attitudes and neglect of animals in a community that has not yet reached a level of compassion and honesty that supports humane and responsible care of animals.

While many will ooh and ahh over a rescued dog or cat, there are few that will honestly address the source of the problem – taking concerns to the municipal leadership, pushing for the enactment of necessary local ordinances, organizing or attending informed discussions on the issues. 
No I don’t have answers to the dilemma but I do know that as long as we decline to address the roots of the problem, we will continue to battle the symptoms of the problem – broken animals, needless misery, an endless flow of rescued animals in need of our time, money, and care.   Think about your own answers to this challenge and feel free to share your thoughts and knowledge about how we can bring attention to the prevention of animal neglect.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The ongoing battle for the human soul...

If you don't believe that evil exists and is in force daily in our midst, try following the dog articles reviewed by Penny Eims at Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national) for a week or so. 

And if you don't believe there are true angels that routinely deliver from evil and rescue those in the most abject distress, try following the dog articles reviewed by Penny Eims at Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national). 

Our nation's tragic challenge with the animals in our midst brings us as as sharply in touch with the battle of good and evil as many of us will ever see. The striking reality is that it is all played out daily and often with little to no notice or recognition. It is a battle crying out and offering us the opportunity to take notice, to engage in the battle, to fight the evil and let the good reign victorious. 

Who needs entertainment when real life is begging us to join in.