Animal cruelty a serious issue

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 28, 2008

Dogs are often called man’s best friends. Cats have a spot in the hearts of many residents. And the list goes on for pets of all species.

But, sadly, some pet owners don’t realize the responsibility that comes with ownership and fail to see that cruelty to animals is unacceptable.

Several dogs were recently removed from an Ironton home under suspicion of abuse and neglect. While these animal owners remain innocent until proven guilty, animal abuse and cruelty is far too common in southern Ohio and rural Appalachia.

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Now is the perfect time for Lawrence County, Ironton and the entire state of Ohio to evaluate its laws regarding animal cruelty.

We hope to see animal cruelty become more than a misdemeanor charge, potentially even a felony that carries more deterrent power.

Also, it would be beneficial if Ironton’s dogcatcher had the legal power to go onto private property with a court order to protect the safety of animals.

Another item to evaluate would be the limit on the number of animals of a particular type someone should be allowed to own before getting a kennel or a breeders permit.

Animals should be protected from abuse and cruelty much in the same way as people are. What makes it more difficult is that the animals cannot speak up and let authorities know when there is a problem.

Each and every citizen should consider it their civic responsibility to report animal abuse or neglect when they see it.

Getting involved isn’t being nosy. it is about saving lives, regardless of the species.