This new world we are entering seems to be confused, angry and hostile. I wonder whether we have always been this way or whether the whole COVID experience over the last year in a half has brought it out.

I think it is a bit of both. We need to do better.

Animals are pouring through our doors; many have been abused, neglected and need veterinary care. Owners are turning their animals in for simply being inconvenient and requiring care.

Some people, if possible, are becoming even more irresponsible and cruel toward animals. They barely provide basic care, and when the animals get sick or injured due to irresponsibility, the people expect someone else to foot the bill, citing they do not have the money.

Some want the privilege of having a pet with none of the moral or financial responsibility. People calling with unvaccinated puppies who have developed parvo want someone else to pay the very expensive vet bill.

There is simply no excuse to not vaccinate your pets when there are free vaccination clinics in our community. Treating parvo can cost thousands of dollars, and the survival rate is 50/50.

We have had an increase of people moving out of residences and leaving pets behind and telling no one. Realtors and owners are walking into these properties and finding these poor animals starving to death and often dead.

Who in their right mind thinks this is an option? We just got in a mom, dad and four pups left in a home. Another week, and they would have been dead.

Throwing animals out of moving cars seems to be on the rise, too. A sweet little pit was thrown out of the window of a moving car in Anderson’s city limits. They didn’t even bother to go out in the country where they wouldn’t be seen. The dog’s leg is injured but will recover with love and care.

I believe part of the problem is lack of deterrents to animal abuse. It is all around us. There are more call-ins to law enforcement concerning animal abuse than any other crime.

But when was the last time you remember someone being punished to the full extent of the law? Or punished at all?

Is it because they are only animals and the thought is that there are more important crimes being committed involving humans?

Is it because law enforcement is overwhelmed with human crimes, and jails and prisons are full of people who have committed more “important” crimes?

Remember: Animal abuse doesn’t affect just animals. It is woven into the fabric of our society, creating a place of cruelty, lack of empathy and connections to crimes that do affect humans.

We need to do better. We need to stop minimizing animal cruelty.

Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 765-356-0900 or at maleahstringer@aol.com.

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