Originally Posted by Callista
Is it really too hard to just drive them down to a shelter, where at least they have a chance at life?
For you or me, this all makes sense. But (and I'm not excusing these abuses), a lot of people -- maybe a growing number -- are raised without pets in the home or social circle, without a lot of support and attention as they grow up. It stands to reason that if you have not been around healthy, normal models for how to behave with animals, you may not automatically "just know." I know I have a lot of people to thank for helping me learn about pets and animals, from my parents and extended family, through neighbors and wiser pet owners and friends.
When there ARE animals around but the rest of the family situation is dysfunctional, there is research that says that animals can be among the first targets of abusive behaviors. Why? Because they are small and weak, relatively speaking.
When we teach humane values to our children, they grow up to respect animals. Helping care for pets while parents and guardians supervise, can give children a great deal of self-respect. And self-respect helps children in many ways.
This is why it's very important for animal organizations to communicate with and collaborate with other social service agencies -- yes, we help animals, but we need to see our role as helping people, too, it's just that we are experts in dog and cat questions while other agencies may be expert at healing a relationship between human beings.