But there is one subject where my mind won't open for another opinion. Neglect, cruelty or just plain ignorance when it comes to animals. The people who believe as I do are legion. They work tirelessly around the country fighting to save animals from abuse and neglect or to simply find animals a home. They are a million times more active than I'll ever be. But whether we do a little or a lot, we all operate from the same playbook.
The problem with us is that we are incapable of holding our tongues when we see an animal that is being hurt or neglected. Some of these people bow up like mother grizzlies and fight to save the animal or at least get it out of your hands.
I will flat-out tell you about the law when you say you plan on breeding your dog. It's illegal unless you are a licensed breeder. In fact, the law calls for your dog to be spayed or neutered. I pray that we can get the ordinances changed in Memphis to prohibit chaining/tethering of dogs as a permanent form of containment. A great law in West Memphis allows animals to be tethered outside for a maximum of a few hours. Animal control will cite you and do its best to take your dog if you don't obey.
Memphis needs that. Another thing, don't let us catch you hitting a child, a dog or a senior citizen, which are the most vulnerable in our society. I'm not fearless about much, but I have no qualms in stopping you. I will call the police if you don't stop. I will follow you home to get your address and find out who you are. I'll check on the dog to see if it's okay. If it's not, I'm calling animal control.
Trust me; I am a mouse compared to others in this city who are saving animals from shelters and horrible situations. They've helped to get some laws changed. They work to get information to animal control workers. They network to get animals out of shelters. They do everything they can to make a difference in these animals' lives.
That's the problem with us animal lovers; we love our pets and will give them the best care we can afford, but in various lengths of time, commitment and energy. Some of us do minimal work; others spend every single day taking care of foster animals, shuffling dogs back and forth to pet adoption days, cleaning out cat cages. Others are trying to get laws passed and enforced. We are networking and adopting animals at the shelter to help them find homes. We raise money when we find one that needs more medical care than we can afford. We will hound you and watch for you. When we see you doing something cruel or neglectful, we will find a way to stop you.
Don't think of us as nuisances, snitches or fanatics. Truly, we're not. Just ask the animals we save from your wretched hands.