Archive for Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pet concern

May 25, 2006


To the editor:

I am 9 years old. I would like to say that I am writing on behalf of the dog owned by the family who lives behind Pinckney School.

My mom and I were riding bikes the other day and saw this dog locked up in a very small cage with barely any room to turn around, let alone walk.

He was barking and wagging his tail looking for someone to play with him, but the owners would not let him out. I think that dogs and cats and all other pets should not be cooped up in cages the size of refrigerators! Pets have the same rights as human beings. They are no less important than us.

Solomon L. Cottrell,



blessed3x 12 years ago


Good for you for writing this letter, however, if you had a responsible parent, they would tell you that humans ARE more important than animals. This fact does not condone cruelty and your letter and concerns are indeed justified, but please don't fall into the trap of believing that animals have the same rights as humans as they most certainly do not.

mom_of_three 12 years ago

As a parent and a human being, I know some kids believe that animals have the same rights as humans without it being taught to them by a parent. It's called childhood innocence and love for animals.
To call his parent irresponsible is well, irresponsible.

blessed3x 12 years ago

Do you seriously think a 9 year old wrote, submitted and responded to the LJW confirmatin phone call all on his own? The parent was in full knowledge of the situation and should have explained it in full to their child. It's called being a parent.

mefirst 12 years ago

Mom of Three,

I couldn't agree with you more.

Blessed, you're way out of line. I'd be willing to bet you're a staunch pro-lifer...but only certain lives (that don't include innocent people in other countries and animals). I believe that animal life is precious and should be protected by us humans.

Animals DO HAVE rights in this society, and by pushing your religious agenda, you've completely undermined that fact and basically justified the animal cruelty this child witnessed.

Why can't you just leave well enough alone and allow people their own beliefs?

mom_of_three 12 years ago

Yes, I think a 9 year old wrote that letter, and asked his parent to send it. The parent let the content stand on it's own without criticizing their child's beliefs. It is what the child believes, and there is nothing wrong with that. It's doesn't say anywhere in the letter that the parent thinks the same thing, only evidently she believes in the child's right of free speech.

mom_of_three 12 years ago

That letter could have been written by my own kids, and even though I may not believe in it as strongly as my kids do, I would have sent the letter and supported their right to express their thoughts at a bad situation.

blackbird13 12 years ago

Solomon and Solomon's parent(s), Thank you so much for trying to do something when faced with a wrong, rather than just ignoring it or assuming someone else will help. It stinks that such a wonderful impulse is getting squelched by a debate about semantics. You did a wonderful thing by writing this letter. Congrats on being (and raising) a great kid!

mom_of_three 12 years ago

Yes, Soloman, great letter.

I am glad you stood up to tell everyone about a bad situation.

mom_of_three 12 years ago

And I am not squelching anything in this debate. I am supporting his right to express his belief, and his parents in supporting him by sending the letter.

blessed3x 12 years ago


Apparantly none of you can read. I believe fully in protecting the rights of animals, however, the line must be drawn at stating that animals have the SAME rights as humans and the full of the judicial system backs me up. Killing a cat will not earn you (yet anyway) the same punishment as the killing of a person. If a house were on fire and you were able to save one thing from the house, would you save the mother or the family dog? See, even you place human life above animal life. Even you must acknowledge that human life is more precious. If you don't, you are a fool.

I applaud Solomon for taking action as I stated in my first post (try rereading it). It's wonderful that he's concerned and willing to act on his concerns. My point was that his line...

"Pets have the same rights as human beings. They are no less important than us." fundamentally flawed. Animals are important, but I at least value human life over animals and I will teach the same to my children.

mom_of_three 12 years ago

But as I read Soloman's letter, I do have a thought. I do not know the situation of the dog that Soloman wrote about, but as a dog owner, I do know that sometimes crates are used to keep dogs out of harms way for a few hours while the owners are gone. There isn't room to walk around, but the dogs have enough room to move and get comfortable. I use one every once in a while on my dog when I don't want to leave him outside unattended but don't want him to get into anything or any danger in the house. If it's only for a short while, it isn't cruel, and my dog usually sleeps. Soloman could have seen something similiar and as long as the dog has water, shade, and isn't in any pain, the dog is fine.

BlondeTiger 12 years ago

The writer of this letter is 9. being critical of a developing child's act of independent thinking is not appreciated by most people who have better things to do on a Thursday morning. I do see that some people are feeling a bit small today and have to criticize a 9 YEAR OLD.

blackbird13 12 years ago

I had the same thought Mom of Three. When used correctly a crate can be a great tool, but to someone who doesn't know about it, it could look bad. (Here's a pretty good article if anyone is interested --

And I didn't mean to imply that you were a squelcher.

Maybe the problem is that we're all reading the letter to literally. In your example of Mom vs. dog in the burning house, Blessed, I don't think there are many of us that would choose the dog. In that situation, human life trumps animal life, human rights trump animal rights.

However, I think (and I am certainly not backed up by our system of justice) that animals have the same rights to live a life free of cruelty and pain. And although, the letter was written more broadly than that, I think if you look at the context that's probably more like what the writter meant.

mom_of_three 12 years ago

thank you blackbird, and I agree with all of your thoughts on the subject.

Fatty_McButterpants 12 years ago

"Blessed3x": A 7-year old just swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Another child won a spelling bee by spelling a word most adults couldn't spell on their best day. An 8-year old has more presidential history committed to memory than many college professors. Just because you don't expect much out of children, it doesn't mean that they can't do it. Do I believe that a 7-year old child could have written this by themselves? Absolutely. Maybe you should try having some faith in our youth.

meggers 12 years ago

I'm guessing Soloman means that pets have the same right as humans to be treated with basic dignity and respect. It's unfortunate that people somehow feel compelled to criticize the boy's plea for a little bit of compassion for our fellow creatures. His letter should encourage all of us to look within ourselves to see what we can personally do to make the world a kinder place.

Confrontation 12 years ago

So, this kid saw something and automatically thought, "hmmm, I should write to the LJWorld about this." I doubt that. I'm sure his parent pointed out the dog and said, "That's sad. Soloman, if you think that's sad, then maybe you should write a letter to the LJWorld. You could include something like this..." Maybe his parent should step up and put his/her name on the letter, rather than making a kid do it. Sure, kids are cuter and sound less like they're just trying to be annoying. Although I'm not saying the message about animals is bad, it is wrong to make your kids write down your own thoughts and get them published on your behalf.

unite2revolt 12 years ago

I would be happy to put my dog on a lead and leave her out all day so she could play, but that's illegal in Lawrence. I guess our commission didn't expect that someone would crate their animal outside in fresh air, or that would be illegal too.

Pets do have some rights in Lawrence; but not the same rights as people. Exotic pets have even been banned from Lawrence.

happyone 12 years ago

perhaps before harsh words are hurled back and forth you should consider the dog involved. If it is the dog I think it is you don't want it out of its cage its not a crate but an actual dog run the dog is a chow-chow with a very nasty temper and the only way it can be controlled is by being placed in the dog run it is not too small for the dog and the dog is not barking to get positive attention it is barking to get out so it can chase you!! I used to live by this particular dog and could not let my children walk to the park because of it!!

BOE 12 years ago

LOL, yeah too bad mom wasn't "responsible" enough to edit her child's OPINION PIECE.

_ Then _ we'd have _ known _ it wasn't a 9 year old,




True enough, animals don't have the same rights as humans, but as for "Importance", well that is relative to one's perspective, be you 9 years old or adult, or.....

* Dog saves owner from break in Last Updated Fri, 09 Jun 2000

HALIFAX - A small dog came to the rescue of his owner Thursday night during a home invasion in Halifax.

At around 7 o'clock two men broke into a house in the North end of Halifax.

A struggle ensued between the invaders and the man who lived there .

It quickly ended, however, when the man's dog attacked one of the culprits, biting off a part of his ear. The two men fled and were later picked up by police.

One of them spent the night in jail -- the other was taken to hospital to be treated for his wounds. * -

.... having the said, "lesser animal", prevent an attack by the more important human filth.

Out of the mouths of babes....

Confrontation 12 years ago

No, I wouldn't waste a dime on owning a dog. I'd rather donate that money to help children in the community, since the children are more important.

gr 12 years ago

mefirst (is that a selfish name or what?),

Maybe you have information about blessed3x that isn't shown in this thread, but you sure come across "way out of line" bitter towards them. I find nowhere where they are "pushing religious agenda". Further, it has not been established any animal cruelty existed. And as far as allowing people to have their own beliefs, what did you just do to blessed3x?

For those who think animals have equal rights, unite2revolt nailed it on the head. Not in this town! Lawrence requires people to chain, pen, or otherwise restrict their pet. Unfortunately, it's now in conflict. You must restrain it, but not with chains.

happyone is probably more on the facts.

In some ways animals have more rights. They can urinate in public with no penalty. In front of children, mind you!

Equating animals to the same level as people is pure silliness.

alicenevada 11 years, 12 months ago

Hello all, I am Solomon's mother. What a debate we have going on here! Just to address a few concerns: 1. My son saw the dog before I did. He was extremely bothered by what he saw and was at a loss as to what he could do. I felt that teaching him about the opinion page in the Journal World would not only be educational, but emotionally beneficial for him as well.
2.Yes, he wrote the letter himself. With the exception of a few punctuation corrections, I did not write it for him or put him up to it. 3. His statement that pets have the same rights as humans was written in the context of having the basic right to humane and compassionate treatment.
4.I do agree that there are times that a pet must be kept in a kennel. However, this dog had neither shade nor water/food as far as I could see and was afforded no space to move.

Thanks for the opinions and especially for those of you who support a child's right to express their opinion, whether you agree with it or not. Erin C.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 12 months ago

Erin C, thanks for speaking up, and big kudos (explain kudos to him if necessary) to your very fine son.
probably the most important measure of our own morality and values is how we treat people who are weaker than we are, and how we treat simpler animals who are dependent on us.
dogs are very special, probably being the only animal with an instinct to serve us humble mankind. I hope your son continues to act on his strong opinions and values as he matures. he is a very fine fella!

emmyshimmy 11 years, 12 months ago

I am Solomon's aunt, and I assure you, he did write this letter... I have several letters that are written to me from him starting out with the same line... "I am writing this letter on behalf of..." He is very intelligent, and very loving. I think it's fabulous that he can speak his mind and HAS A RESPONSIBLE PARENT who teaches him that every opinion he has is valuable. Sometimes I wonder when people in Lawrence are going to stop worrying about round-about traffic and start concentrating on the bigger issues. For now all I can do is pray that everyone will gain the amount of compassion that my nephew has already learned to have at a young age.

mefirst 11 years, 12 months ago


Yes, I do have information about Blessed through past threads. He's very judgmental, harsh, and narrow-minded. As for my name, it was assigned and I don't know how to change it. Happy?

walkerduck 11 years, 12 months ago

Dear Soloman:

My name is Kristen. Tai, the dog you are talking about has been a member of my family for more than 13 years. I love her very much as do my husband, my three daughters and my grand-daughter.

Thank you for being concerned enough about her to write a letter. I did not know this "communication" was happening until I received a note on my door from the humane society.

Something to keep in mind, dear friend, is that things are not always as they appear.

I can assure you that Tai is not mistreated. In fact, I believe that we treat her better than some parents treat thier children. Tai was adopted from an animal shelter when she was very young. She was born at a puppy mill where the owners bred lab and sharpei's together to get a breed of dogs that did not have the eye and skin problems commonly found in sharpei's. Tai and her brother were discarded. Lucky for us as she has been a wonderful friend and companion.

Her water and food dishes are available for her to eat whenever she wants. She used to get lots of table scraps but her doctor says she is old and it's not good for her. She has always been an "inside" dog and has never stayed outside over night. She sleeps inside on a very soft pillow that was hand-made just for her, or on my bed. She has a blanket that was knit for her that she likes to sleep on also. The kennel she was in at the time you saw her is not small and she definately has room to turn around. In fact, I think you could fit about four or five refrigerators in it. She only spends time in her kennel if the weather is nice. It is under a patch of tree's where she will be burried when the time comes. Which, I am afraid is fast approaching.

There are three children in my house who play with her, dress her up, pet her, brush her, snuggle and cuddle with her on a daily basis. If she was wagging her tail at you and wanting to play, it's probably because she knows you're a good person and that you love animals.

Sincerely, Kristen.

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