Parents, pet and horse owners need education now


There are two things that burn, and I mean burn me bad. First is harming a child. The second is harming an animal. Do you see the pattern here? Both are dependent on adults, on us, to protect them and to provide for them. That is an absolute. There is no room in that absolute for harm in any way, shape or form. Got that? Good.

Now, I’m no dummy. I know that there are people who don’t happen to take the responsibility of care, protection and providing for kids and animals as seriously as I do. I say, “Shame on them!” What part of being an adult, a responsible adult, don’t these people get? Didn’t their mommas take care of them? If their mommas didn’t do the job, didn’t they hope that some other responsible adult would step up to the plate and make it right for them?

No child ever asked to be born. Neither did any dog, cat or horse. We all know about the Birds and the Bees, we all know how they got here, and chances are pretty good that we all played our part in bringing them into the world. We brought them in, we take care of them. That’s the way it’s played. That’s life.
This is pretty basic stuff here. It’s a no-brainer. So, what do we do with these people that refuse to step up to the plate and be responsible adults?

Here’s where I bet you’re thinking I’ll say something like, “Take the kids and the animals away from the neglecters, the abusers and the irresponsible jerks.” I sure do feel that way a lot of the time. Oh boy do I feel that way sometimes.

But, you take the kids away – to where? Where do you put them? You can put a child up for adoption, put the pore soul in foster care until adopted, and if it all falls together, you have a happy ending. The child might find adoptive parents that will care, love, protect and provide for that child for life. Ah, you say. A solution is in place. It’s easy to ignore the fact that every time that there’s any flap about the budget, the first thing on the cutting block is funding for social services. That means more kids in poverty, more kids that remain in abusive, neglectful circumstances, far fewer foster homes and even fewer successful adoptions.

You take the animals away – to where? Animals aren’t so lucky. They end up in shelters and euthanized if not adopted. It’s an ending, but not a very happy one. For horses, the story has no ending, not even an unhappy one. No, they are doomed to the pain of starvation, of neglect, of abuse until they drop dead on their own. Why? Because some bunch of disconnected do-gooders decided that horses shouldn’t be humanely slaughtered. Horses aren’t pets, and they aren’t livestock. They are a luxury item. Right. Tell that to the horse that is a walking skeleton with numbered days left on Earth. I bet that horse don’t feel so luxurious.

So what do we do? Educate.

Newborn babies don’t come with instruction manuals. Even if there are good books, they fall short of preparing a mother-to-be for the huge change her life is going to experience. There are all sorts of programs out there geared toward teaching teens about the reality of giving in to their screaming hormones. Some of the programs work – to an extent. Why not expand on those programs and add in pre-natal experience groups too to build up a solid support network, one that continues on until the babies grow up?

Instead of subjecting gazillions of dogs and cats to early deaths, why not develop pet education programs to be completed before ownership is allowed? Expand the spay/neuter programs or put vets on the payroll to offer those procedures regularly and at a reduced price.

A year-long horsemanship training program completed before someone buys a horse would be one way to curb the growing number of starving, neglected, abused horses. Current horse owners could then make money again with their horses, maybe even home a few more with the extra income and put the horse industry back on a growing path. Wouldn’t it be far more effective to teach people instead of allowing wanna-be’s to buy a horse, ruin it, sell it if they’re lucky, neglect it or abuse it just because they find out that horse ownership ain’t all dreamy like it is on TV?

The bottom line is that it will take all of us, us responsible adults, to take on even more responsibility. We have to because the politicians in Washington are even less responsible than the child and animal abusers. We have to change our way of thinking on this and come up with ways that we can reach out to those that fall short of their responsibilities and teach them the right way to parent, to take care of a dog or cat or to safely enjoy their horse.

Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice

But, you and I do. It’s up to us. We have to do it for the kids and the animals. Now.

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