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OP-ED: “I am saddened and angry to see the increase in abused and abandoned animals in the Southern Tier”

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By Michele Paige,

I grew up in Canaseraga and now reside in Maine. I was brought up respecting animals. Whether it be donating when I can or giving a cat or dog a forever, loving home, I was raised to be educated, respect and have compassion for all.

I am saddened and angry to see the increase in abused and abandoned animals in the Southern Tier.
Clearly, the times we live in, the strain of the Pandemic, and a challenging economic state has greatly taxed the emotional and financial health of so many.

Just in the last couple of months in Hornell, Wayland and other towns, cats have been thrown out of car windows, litters have been dumped on the side of the road like trash, cats and dogs abandoned and far too many are being neglected and abused by people who are, sadly, ignorant or who simply do not care. Shame on you who do not care.

Animal Rescue groups are overflowing with what should be everyone’s responsibility. It also comes down to common decency and respect for those who cannot defend themselves.

Veterinary costs are not helping matters. Yes, veterinary hospitals are, after all, a business, but the costs involved in caring for your pet even at the most minimal level more times than not simply are not feasible for many. I encourage all clinics to offer some form of assistance for those most in need. Veterinary professionals who are willing to cut costs whenever possible and help rescuers are few and far between.
I urge all of you to educate yourselves before taking on the responsibility of an animal. Reach out to your local Humane Society, network online to try and find people who can help. Please do not dump your unwanted animals like garbage. They are sentient beings!

There are a handful of police officers who are willing to put any effort into investigating a cruelty (I could name a couple from the Hornell Police Department who go the extra mile!) Until animals are considered not just property, and, at best result in only a misdemeanor, their hands are often tied, what with current laws being what they are.

Sigh, the world is a scary place right now and there is a definite link between animal cruelty and human violence.

Educate yourselves and be kind to all; please.

Michele Paige
Hollis Center, Maine

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