It’s nice that, even though they see the worst abuse humans can dish out to animals, the staff at the Lawrence Humane Society still chooses to see the best in people.
A story in Sunday’s Journal-World would have been the perfect opportunity for humane society officials to rail at people who abandon their pets or leave animals in their cars or outside without proper water and shelter during extreme weather. Instead, they emphasized the need to educate people about caring for their animals and listed all the ways the humane society can help. They can offer helpful tips like digging a hole in the ground for a dog’s water bowl so it doesn’t tip over. They’ll even help an owner get a bigger house for a dog that’s outgrown his quarters.
Their first goal, the officials said, is to make it safe to keep animals in their current homes, but, failing that, the society will accept any animal dropped off at its shelter on East 19th Street — no questions asked. There the animals will be fed, housed and cared for until they find a new home. There’s no reason — or excuse — to abandon an animal in Lawrence.
Some recent writers to the Journal-World’s Public Forum haven’t been as charitable toward people who have left their dogs in cars during recent hot weather. They have a right to be concerned about those dogs and angry at the people who either out of ignorance or negligence left the dogs in a potentially deadly situation.
People at the Lawrence Humane Society have a right to be angry to — and they undoubtedly are angry from time to time when they rescue an animal from abuse or neglect. But, for them, it’s all about the animals. If they can help pet owners take better care of their animals, there will be that many fewer pets abandoned and needing new homes.
Make no mistake, the humane society won’t hesitate to get tough when the situation warrants it, but sometimes a softer approach can work as well or better. So, in that spirit, let this serve as a reminder for all pet owners to take care of their animals during hot summer weather. Bring them inside if you can and give them plenty of water. Your dogs may enjoy riding in the car, but leaving them in a parked car even for a few minutes this time of year can cause serious harm. If you can’t afford a new doghouse or enough food to properly feed your animals, call the people at the Lawrence Humane Society.
They’ll do what they can to help.