Suffering In The Shadows

The innocence of animals is being stripped away as people continue to abuse and neglect them


An abandoned dog travels the streets alone. He was left behind by his owners to face the world with no guidance.

You watch from outside the ring as the once-innocent creature staring back at you stretches his lungs to take one more breath before they cave in like paper exposed to heat. The gash slashed across his fur continues bleeding across the dark, paved concrete, his fur matted with the syrupy liquid seeping from the corners of his mouth. You stare, shocked, as a once furry friend, cuddly companion, playful pal, lies dead at the feet of another dog; the owner holding the once shiny collar in his trembling hands, distressed, not because of his friend’s death, but the loss of his precious money to the owner opposing him. He cries as he watches the man whisk the dollar bills from his hands at the same time his pup lays surrounded by the last thing he would ever see; a wrought iron fence scored with claw and teeth marks. 

This scene imprinted in your mind describes dog fighting. An inhumane, unimaginable and sadly prevalent act. Dog fighting, though made illegal, still occurs frequently because the guilty parties have learned to hide from the law. This must be stopped. Dogs all over the world are suffering because we are not willing to do little actions to stop this. If you see evidence of dog fights, call the authorities. Get involved in a committee that dedicates their time to putting an end to this. Donate a few dollars to a local cause. Most importantly, spread the word about these atrocities because those dogs forced to fight for their lives could easily have been your little fur ball.  

A slight murmur sounds from behind a trash can, overflowing with the stench of last week’s meatloaf. You peer around to see what could possibly have made that silent whimper and find a small creature lying on the ground. A spiked collar surrounds its slim neck, digging into the flesh stripped of fur. The kitten’s ribs protrude from its side. The name tag, though rubbed to almost illegibility, reads Daisy. I have to return her to her owner you think, but then you look back and realize; her breathing has ceased. Little do you know that this cat was surprisingly under ownership.The man and woman caring for this animal had given up on troubling themselves with this burden, and decided to neglect and abuse their once loving animals. No food, water, or shelter had been given to Daisy. Only the cold, trash, and little water she could find from the raindrops that fell each month. She died not ever knowing a good life. 

Animal abuse is one of the worst things a person can do. What compels someone to starve an animal to death or strip them of their personality by making them fight for life everyday? This idea is one that keeps me up at night as I stare at my little shih tzu sleeping at my feet, thinking that her life could be so different if she would have been snatched up by another owner, an abusive one, from the breeder. Honestly, these actions make me lose a little hope in humanity, because everytime we strike against these innocent creatures, we lose some of our innocence ourselves. Let’s put a stop to this loss of innocence. Let’s take a stand against animal abuse and neglect. This does not necessarily mean fighting off every abuser you see or seeking out anyone you see kick a dog. You can do the little things. If you see a dog on the streets with no tag, take him in. Give him a home either with you or a foster home. Educate others around you about how to properly care for their pets. If you know someone struggling financially to pay for the welfare of an animal, help them out or ask to take the animal to a better home. There are many things we can do because anything is better than nothing, as I am sure our four-legged friends would say. I hope, that one animal at a time, we can help our furry friends, cuddly companions, and playful pals live the loving and wonderful lives they deserve.