I've always liked animals. When I was a little girl, I had a couple of rabbits, and I'm fond of dogs. This was all kind of surface for me, though - I didn't freak out or get giddy whenever I saw an animal. They existed, I existed - it was all good.
Last summer, however, all that changed. My daughter had been asking for a dog for some time, and for her birthday, I decided to go ahead and get her one. I'd been procrastinating because I didn't want something underfoot and I didn't want dog hair all over - my daughter and I shed enough as it is. A curse of having thick hair. But I finally relented, and we were able to find the absolute perfect dog for her at the Humane Society of Utah. At first, I thought we'd gotten her for my daughter, but as it turns out, she's for all of us.
And frankly, I've been shocked and sickened by much of what I've seen.
In years past, whenever I'd hear about a case of animal abuse, I'd think, "Oh, that's too bad," but I'd sort of skim past it because I was thinking about other things. Now that we have Belle and I'm more attuned to the animal kingdom, I've seen some articles that have made me nearly vomit - the abuses mankind perpetrates on animals are staggering, evil, and beyond my comprehension. I don't use the word "evil" lightly, but I absolutely mean it in this case. There are some truly twisted individuals out there who do things to animals that belong in the lower levels of hell. I'm not going to list them all here, but you can find any information you're curious to find on the Internet.
Why are some people so cruel? How could they have come to believe that this kind of behavior is all right? It makes me wonder what they've gone through in their own lives to create that kind of hard shell around their hearts, and it makes me cringe for their families - are they kind to their families while treating their animals in such horrific ways, or does the abuse extend to everyone around them? I know that animal abuse is a sign of a deeper mental issue, and I can't believe that someone who could treat a dog or other animal in such a way could be all right in all the other areas of their lives. This is not normal. This is not okay.
I beg of everyone reading this post - if you encounter any evidence of animal abuse in your neighborhood, please call it in. These beautiful little creatures don't deserve the things they are put through. And please, please realize that animal abusers must be stopped before their abuse escalates. When you look back into the life stories of some of our most notorious serial killers and rapists, you'll find that many of them began abusing animals as children. It is an indicator of a deeper illness. Please don't overlook it - please report it.
I read an article on Facebook just moments ago that had me crying out in disgust and shock. If Belle weren't taking a nap right now, I'd go in there, scoop her up, and promise her over and over again that nothing like that will ever happen to her. I always have been and always will be a fierce and avid warrior against child abuse, but we're now going to add animal abuse to that list. This must stop. It must.