• 55°

Pets are important

This past week we saw three churches in Lawrence County offering special services to honor the Feast of St. Francis and his love for all creation, especially animals.

Pet owners brought their dogs, cats, even exotic birds to the churches where the pastors said a blessing over each animal, thus re-affirming the bond between pets and their owner.

One minister said God created the animals, but gave dominion over them to man. That means man is to care for and protect them. But that we as a society haven’t done a good job of that, citing the number of strays and abused animals.

In 2007, the date of the last statistics, close to 2,000 animal abuse cases were reported by the media. That means countless others fall off the radar.

Experts report there is a tie between animal abuse and violent crimes against men, women and children.

Approximately 10.2 million women and men are assaulted by their spouse or partner each year. Of these, 71 percent of these victims said their abuser also hurt their pets.

Often such vicious sports as cock fighting or dog fighting provide an avenue for drug running. And such violent activities are often where emotions run so high, assault or even murder, can occur.

It may seem a small thing to commend those who treat animals in a kind manner. But that small act could encourage society as whole to care for the weak at all times, whether animal, child, the frail or infirm.