Animals depend on people -- don't disappoint them

To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing on March 22 the eloquent letter from 15 year old Vanessa Bedor re: the rescued mare. Vanessa, please know that your outrage and sadness over these recent horrific animal neglect cases in Lyndon and St. J. are shared by many others.

A domestic animal is a confined animal, whether it is a horse in a 10-acre pasture or a locked stall, a rabbit in its hutch or a cat in an apartment. They are not like a moose or coyote that can travel long distances freely to find food and shelter. A domestic animal is essentially trapped and 100% reliant on the human being who has taken it in. If you or I suddenly found ourselves confined and helpless due to an accident, stroke or illness, we would be fully dependent on another person to bring our food and water to us. If that person suddenly moved away and left us, or just went about his or her business in another part of the house and didn't bother to come to our room with the things we need to live, we'd quickly be in trouble. What if we were unable to move or speak? To ask for our most basic rights? We'd be victims of callous neglect, because someone couldn't be bothered to look after us anymore.

To deliberately allow ANY creature -- bird, mammal or human -- to starve or freeze to death are the lowest form of cruelty. It is also completely unnecessary! There are so many people who are willing to help! If you have pets that you cannot or simply aren't interested in caring for anymore, don't just ignore them and allow them to die: ASK FOR HELP! Call any local rescue agency, your town constable, your neighbor, your coworker. Post an ad at your nearest veterinarian's office, convenience store or laundromat. If we can't personally shelter your pet, we can find someone who will. If we can't individually provide a winter's worth of hay, grain or kibble, we can pitch in and organize a drive for donations. Don't let your silly pride cost another pet his or her life!

Amy Brill

Sutton, Vt.

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