Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 1, 2014

Jan. 1, 2014: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

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If it is cold to you, it is cold to a pet

As we are heading into the deepest part of the winter season, I am distressed, concerned and in some cases outraged by what I have witnessed in the Kokomo area concerning people and their pets: dogs and cats which they let out in their yard and then leave, or close their curtains and ignore them for the rest of the day and sometimes all night.

It is extremely disturbing to watch and hear a dog pacing and whining in desperation to get out of the cold, wind or rain. This sometimes goes on for hours, and into the night.

They have no place to go to get out of the wind or frigid temperatures, and their "family" couldn't care less. Or a cat you see wandering the streets with its fur caked in ice.

When reporting these issues to the local Humane Society, depending on whom you talk to, it will tell you Indiana laws regarding animals are lax and there is nothing that can be done. (Sometimes the people at the Humane Society will send an animal control officer out, but not always).

The Kokomo Police Department will tell you that unless the animal is a menace or injured, there is nothing it can do.

Even Pals for Paws, which wants to help, has its hands tied due to the way local ordinances are either not enforced or non-existent.

These people who shouldn't even own a pet should at least be held accountable for their mistreatment and neglect of their pets. There should be strict guidelines with very clear consequences that are enforced by the local officials. Repeat offenders should have their pets removed and be forbidden to ever own another pet.

Animals have no voice of their own. They cannot protect themselves, defend their rights or get themselves out of undesirable situations. It is up to people to do what is right, and unfortunately many people just don't care.

And until local officials can enforce laws that have been set, these animals will continue to suffer needlessly.

Remember: If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them!

Annette Rockhill