Published 7:00 am Friday, July 14, 2017

This week the Item yet again was given the task of reporting a case of animal cruelty. A mother and her litter of puppies were surrendered to the Pearl River County SPCA after going without food and water and left in a state of dire health.

Any time we have to report these cases is difficult, but seeing a mother and her puppies who were mistreated in that way is a whole other beast. The owners had other animals on the property that were said to be in healthy condition, making the whole situation that much more unfathomable.

I’ve written about my dog before, but when I look at her sweet face every day, no matter how much trash she’s eaten and messes she’s made, I could never fathom leaving her chained up without food or water for days on end.

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People who torture and mistreat animals in any way shouldn’t be allowed to own them.

If one dog, one cat or even one chicken has to be surrendered from their ownership, they should all be taken.

Because at that point, the person has proven that they are incapable of compassion or the forethought needed to care for a living creature.

Some people may say that by enacting more government oversight into the treatment of animals is harmful, that it inhibits the freedoms of men.

But just like now I want our city’s police officers to protect me from intoxicated drivers, criminals and other humans that wish to do me harm, I believe law enforcement should protect our animals from those who would do the same.

Due to the large amounts of livestock, horses and domestic pets in this county, putting this responsibility on one or two individuals is not enough.

The county did the right thing by hiring an animal control officer, but now it needs to look at hiring another.

It is my hope that with strict enforcement of our laws and ordinances, the number of animals being mistreated and ending up at the SPCA will dwindle.

As well as they care for those animals, they still deserve to end up in a good, loving forever home.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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