To say I’m disappointed in the votes Monday night in regard to the humane dog tethering and sheltering resolutions is an understatement.
It absolutely boggles my mind that enough commissioners saw fit to vote against them when what they asked for was not extravagant. All that was requested was amendments to already existing policies to better support humane conditions for the dogs people take responsibility for. Yet again, animals have taken a backseat when it comes to protective laws.
The resolutions failing to pass sadly doesn’t come as a shock, and I wish I could say otherwise. From going to Animal Control frequently, I see what they have to contend with. I know many of the people who are working tirelessly to better the lives of animals in this county, and this will weigh heavy on their hearts.
I am grateful Commissioner Blaine Wilcher took the concerns of the residents seriously and tried to come up with a fair and ethical suggestion, which brought about the resolutions. I am heartened to see the majority of the full commission voted in favor of them. I am only sorry they didn’t pass.
The reasons behind some of the rejections left me wondering if they had read the resolution ahead of time and did their due research. Tethers have advanced over the years, and there is absolutely NO reason to put a logging chain or other heavy restraint on a dog, no matter how strong it is.
Tethers these days have been designed to support hundreds of pounds of force and still hold fast. Peoples’ failures to outfit their dogs properly are the problem, not a strong dog. Necks are a place of anatomical weakness for dogs and are quite fragile. They shouldn’t be outfitted with chains like these because putting heavy, inflexible chains or weights on their neck is only going to increase their risk of choking or developing skeletal issues from improper weight distributions.
Having guidelines in place via the resolutions the county Health and Welfare Committee brought to the full commission would have greatly improved the county’s ability to educate people about proper animal husbandry, in turn reducing the number of dogs who are inadequately tethered or running at large currently.
There was only opportunity for improvement from these resolutions, not loss. The only sense I can make from the rejections is that those who said “no” did not understand the subject matter. To those who voted against the resolutions, I implore you to take a real, hard look at the conditions of the dogs in this county and the neglect they face, because those are the dogs the resolutions wanted to help.
Warren County needs change. Progress does not come from maintaining the status quo or from doing things one way because they’ve always been done that way. It comes from becoming more knowledgeable about the subject matter, and inspiring change from that knowledge.
Standard reporter Nikki Childers can be reached at 473-2191.