Prevention and rehabilitation is the answer to all of our “doggone” problems. Not defunding no-kill shelters.

The idea that domesticated animals should be killed because humans have not done enough to care for them is a reflection on the lack of empathy that has engulfed this country.

Yes, it is true that there are ethical dilemmas that come with keeping pets alive. And prior arguments for defunding no-kill shelters have put the nail right on the head.

Factory farming, for instance, is a stain on our society, and pet ownership most certainly creates a demand for these diabolical meat markets. It is also valid to argue that humans have consistently, over centuries, attempted to stick our foot into the natural order things, especially when it comes to the conservation of animals. So I agree, for obvious reasons, that maybe it is time we stop trying to do that.

However, what is not justifiable is for us to single out basset hounds for the cruelty imposed upon cows, chickens, turkeys, and even the humans who are forced to visit these man-made facilities that pump out carcasses like they’re Cadillacs. And, it is especially not fair for us to blame an American long hair tabby for killing a songbird or two (another species that humans have decided to take affection for) when it is bread into their DNA to do so.

So of course we should fund shelters that try to extend the life of companion animals that rely on us for survival!

But maybe there is a better option than just funding shelters where animals become institutionalized and unadoptable. Perhaps, the answer to the question of how to appropriate tax dollars lies not just in sheltering, but in rehabilitation and prevention as well.

As Benjamin Franklin so wisely put it “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

So if there is any lesson to be learned here it is that if humans want to battle the ethical dilemmas which come with taking care of companion animals, then maybe the discussion should not start with murdering our furry friend, but instead, figure out how to prevent the creation of bad animals and rehabilitate the ones that need us the most.

Michael Ramsey

Waynesboro

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