This evening, while I had some time to kill, I spent it browsing on Pinterest. I was checking out pins posted by the people I follow. One pin caught my eye. It was a picture of a thin, dirty and scruffy cat lying on a curb, apparently asleep. The cat was obviously underfed; it looked like it was starving. My heart went out to that poor cat.
Then I read the words on the picture:
"I didn't mean to scratch your kid.
If he wasn't pulling my tail all the time maybe I'd still be living at home.
Now, I am dirty and hungry."
At the bottom, it read:
"Ignorance Is Intolerable."
This made me pause. It brought back a memory from my childhood.
When I was a little girl, we had a dog named Skippy. A Cocker Spaniel. We LOVED Skippy. He was so friendly and lovable.
Well, most of us loved him. One of us, my younger brother, was cruel to him. Every single day, he pulled on Skippy’s ears and hurt him in some way. Yes, he intentionally hurt the dog. He thought it was funny or he found some kind of amusement in it. We would try to protect Skippy and keep him from my younger brother, but my younger brother always found a way to get to Skippy and hurt him some more.
And my parents did nothing about it. Nothing! It should be said that my younger brother ALWAYS got away with everything his whole life. He was loved more than we were. He was always Number One. The More Important Child.
And it should also be said that he later went on to kill two cats – one that belonged to me, one that belonged to my sister. In fact, he arranged it so I would see my dead cat.
Well, anyway. Back to Skippy. As I said, we LOVED Skippy, except for his tormentor. Day after day, poor Skippy took this kind of abuse from my younger brother.
Until, finally, he’d had enough. You know how it is when someone, even an animal, is tormented for years, bullied or abused or tortured, then one day snaps back at his tormenter? That is what Skippy did. He’d had enough of my younger brother’s treatment and he bit him.
Of course, my younger brother ran crying to my parents, saying that Skippy had intentionally bit him. He claimed he’d done NOTHING wrong. That he was just playing with the dog.
And my parents believed him.
We tried to tell Skippy’s side of the story, though. We tried to explain that my younger brother had hurt Skippy, had BEEN hurting Skippy, and that was why he bit him.
But they didn’t listen. They didn’t care. In their eyes, Skippy was an Evil Dog. A Very Bad Dog.
A dog that had to be destroyed because it had bitten a child.
So they had Skippy taken away to be put to sleep. I still remember standing outside of the truck, at the cage Skippy was in, crying as I said goodbye.
And I hated my younger brother for that. We blamed him for Skippy’s death. We were all mad at him.
Skippy had taken the abuse, the pain and torment from my younger brother for months. And when he finally fought back against his tormenter, he paid for it with his life.
Remembering this made me really sad. I still miss Skippy and I still felt anger over the whole thing. But I also felt anger over something else: The fact that my parents did NOTHING when one of their children was hurting a dog.
Why? Why didn’t they do anything?
Why did they never teach him to be kind to animals?
In thinking on this some more, I realized that if my parents HAD intervened, then maybe that wouldn’t have happened and Skippy would not have had to lose his life in such a horribly unfair way.
Ignorance is NEVER tolerable. It should never be put up with. Animal abuse is a horrible thing, and cruelty towards animals is just as horrible. There is nothing funny about hurting an animal. There is nothing funny about tormenting an animal and making it suffer from horrible abuse. There is nothing entertaining at all about hurting animals.
We need to encourage people to be kind to animals. We need to teach our CHILDREN to be kind to animals. Allowing children to hurt and abuse animals for entertainment or for some sick desire to see an animal suffer is not only irresponsible but heartless.
Please be a voice for the animals and stop animal cruelty. Please step up and stop someone from abusing an animal or hurting an animal. Tell them to stop. Tell them it is wrong. And, if it’s your child, TEACH him it is wrong.
Animals don’t have a voice. WE are their voice. We are the ones who can help them. Don’t turn a blind eye to animal cruelty or animal abuse. Please, put a stop to it. Right now. Be their voice. Be the one who can save them, because they are not able to save themselves.