Letters, Sept. 12-25
Reader responds to animal cruelty
I have been prompted to write (and act) by your detailed description of ongoing acts of cruelty to animals. Unfortunately, this and similar widely different acts are, logically, commonplace in the U.S. given the extent of pet ownership. This trend has extensive and growing, but seldom reported, negative effects including those on the natural environment, wildlife, other pets and humans.
As a longtime boater, The Log reader and human, I submit these personal observations: (1) our condominium grounds have become a gigantic pet toilet, which the contamination is not usually visible, I would not allow a child to play there. Flies have replaced migratory song birds, (2) frequent yet often unexpected barking, yipping, growling has reduced the quality of life for all. The high number of dogs contributes to chain reactions, which are sometimes triggered by feral cats (another byproduct of pet ownership), (3) the dog pound atmosphere is not as pervasive at the marina where I rent; however, given the layout, it only takes one dog left outside one of the surrounding homes to bring suffering to slip holders, visitors and the dog itself, (4) I cannot recall a single event in 40 plus years of boating that was enhanced for me by pets on boats. In fact, the opposite have been common, with experiences similar to those ashore. Additionally, I gave witness to large dogs with little room to move; dogs with thick fur clearly in trouble in high heat and humidity, and dogs needing a toilet having their owner risk lives to go.
I did observe some dogs that appeared to be very happy, though battle scarred, they were in a park, running down an isolated Mexican Beach, just after dawn. They barked at everything, including me.
Being human, I could not respond.