The animal rights movement in the United States is nothing new. But the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” was something of an anomaly when the New York State Legislature granted Henry Bergh a charter for it in 1866. In the more than 150 years since, the ASPCA has been advocate for the netherworld of animal welfare. The Texas branch of the SPCA was incorporated on September 22, 1938 and works in conjunction with state and local leaders to oversee the well-being various non-human creatures (not including, of course, politicians and child molesters).
Currently, the ASPCA is monitoring the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which hit the East Coast last week. After the debacle involving Hurricane Katrina – and the literally millions of animals forcibly left stranded to be killed or die in agony – people demanded better protections for human and animal survivors of natural or even human-made disasters.
But, just as importantly, we now understand that animal abuse is tied to more severe problems in society. Some of the world’s worst serial killers, for example, had a history of animal cruelty. While most people who do something mean to an animal won’t turn into a Hannibal Lecter-type monster, we take it seriously now and often involve law enforcement.
I implore everyone to help in any way possible. Besides, animals actually appreciate when you help them out.
Today, as you might know, is Super Bowl Sunday! This is the annual festival where grown people behave more stupidly than they usually do during sporting events. God bless America! But, I’m much more likely to watch a truly entertaining and worthwhile spectacle: “The Puppy Bowl!” Here, little canines engage in the same amount of rough-housing as their human counterparts, but with more meaning. This year’s “Puppy Bowl” comes complete with hedgehog cheerleaders and a feline half-time show. No disrespect to cats or rodents, but I prefer dogs any day. All of the puppies are shelter dogs, and the entire event benefits the ASPCA. Like I said, it’s actually a worthwhile undertaking!
As they every year at this time, the ASPCA is reminding folks that animals aren’t toys and therefore, shouldn’t be given as gifts to unsuspecting recipients. They may seem cute at first sight, but many gift animals end up abused and / or abandoned. Take the pledge and help stop the abuse.
A dog sits waiting in the cold autumn sun,
Too faithful to leave, too frightened to run. He’s been here for days now with nothing to do
But sit by the road, waiting for you.
He can’t understand why you left him that day
He thought you and he were stopping to play.
He’s sure you’ll come back, and that’s why he stays
How long will he suffer: How many more days?
His legs have grown weak, his throat’s parched and dry
He’s sick now from hunger and falls with a sigh.
He lays down his head and closes his eyes
I wish you could see how a waiting dog dies.
I can’t verify the authenticity of this poem’s author, but it’s heartbreaking nonetheless. I have a soft spot for animals, especially dogs, as anyone familiar with this blog knows very well. If you can help, please donate to your local ASPCA to keep more animals from suffering.