Pet Ownership

Monday, April 7, 2014

Aside from the other hats that I wear, I am a volunteer for the Humane Educational Society at 212 Highland Park Ave., downtown Chattanooga. I have been affiliated with the society for a couple of years specifically through my daughter, Cheryl, who was their volunteer coordinator at one time. 

Most times, I am the one “behind the scenes” person that transports a dog or in some instances, a cat, to Paul Barys at Channel  3 News to be featured on Monday nights segment, “Paul’s Pet’s.”  Although I remain behind the scenes, it is something that I have committed to doing on a weekly basis.    

I continued to groom my role into a character education-type role because of my teaching background, in that I make presentations to various schools and different age groups to educate them about the do’s and don’ts of dealing with their pet dog or a stray dog they might confront while they are outside playing or out with their own pet.

I was driven to write this letter after I watched the disturbing news clip this past week about a dog that had been found wandering the streets that had obviously had bites inflicted on it due to a fight.  Fortunately, the dog survived because it was found by someone caring enough to find it treatment.   

My message is that if there is anyone knowing anything about dog fighting anywhere in the city, they should alert the authorities as soon as they have that knowledge so an end to this horrible mistreatment of dogs.  Blame is continually put on the pit bull breed of dogs, sighting the dogs’ attitudes and responses to stimuli, but it should be realized that more than likely somewhere in their young lives, a human being has had some responsibility for this animal to act this way. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where a dog may just be unmanageable.

I would urge everyone who is thinking of getting a pet to please visit the Humane Educational Society and walk the kennels before purchasing a dog or a cat.  There are so many animals just waiting to be selected as ‘the one’ that a family will take home.  I would also urge that when considering a pet, to be sure that you and your family are able to deal with the responsibility that comes along with that ownership.   

This is a good time of year to entertain the idea of a pet since the weather is beginning to finally show signs of warming up. School will soon be out so now is the time to begin talking and teaching pet responsibility to your children. This would also be a good time to do your doggy homework before settling on any one breed of dog if a specific breed is what you have your heart set on. 

Donna Horn
Animal Advocate

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