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One Good Thing - Better dog care needed

This Monday, there will be two resolutions that will go before the Warren County Commission and I truly hope they get the consideration they deserve. I am speaking of the Humane Tethering and Humane Sheltering resolutions that are being passed down from the Health and Welfare Committee for approval at the full commission meeting.

While I am not particularly fond of dogs being tethered outside, I would like to at least see a higher standard of care installed for those who do reside outside on tethers. That is exactly what the new policies want to achieve: outlining a basic standard of care for dogs who live outside.

All too often, I see dogs out in inadequate conditions, and it really is heartbreaking to know those dogs will always live in squalor or without proper living conditions provided to them because vague outlines in current state law allow them to get by with subpar accommodations. They are tethered outside, forgotten about and largely excised from the daily life they want to enjoy with their families

Dogs are social creatures. They crave the companionship that people have bred them to rely on over thousands of years – they need us for survival, and we made them that way. They are living, breathing beings capable of complex thought and they feel pain, hunger and happiness, too. It is our responsibility as pet owners to ensure they receive everything they need the moment they join our families.

So while I personally would never tether a dog as a permanent measure, I understand that other people wish to do so for any number of reasons and I am willing to meet them in the middle, under the condition said dogs are kept in proper conditions. I have seen dogs outside who have everything they need, and they do appear to be healthy. I have less problem with that than the dogs who so often wind up at Animal Control in such bad condition that they’re skin and bones, plagued by health issues and have no idea how to interact with people. If you want to know the true gravity of what is going on in the county in terms of animal cruelty, you should stop by there or ask the staff what they’ve seen – it is eye-opening.

The people who are properly caring for their animals have nothing to fear from the resolutions. I have attended several of the meetings during the drafting of these measures, and the crux of it all has always been educating the public about better practices. Some people just need a gentle hand showing them what they can do to improve their animal husbandry, and the Health and Welfare Committee realizes this – that is their goal.

When these two resolutions come before the full commission, I am hopeful they will approve them for the animals of Warren County who lack a voice of their own. Better animal welfare in Warren County is long overdue.

Standard reporter Nikki Childers can be reached at 473-2191.