Dog abuse, dog neglect and dog killings are the norm in many northern communities. The Yukon News had already reported on this very issue: “Ross River’s gone to the dogs” (the News, Aug. 2, 2008). Seven years later, the situation has not improved, according to a recent CBC report. Very sad.
People need and deserve protection. And so do dogs. RCMP should be armed with serious laws that protect dogs, too. People who create neglected dog issues need to take responsibility for their animals. Why aren’t people held accountable when they don’t take care of their dogs properly? What has Yukon’s Animal Protection Act done to protect dogs and other animals?
The dogs’ owners are teaching children by example that it’s OK to have, use, abandon and kill unwanted animals after the “cute” puppy stage has passed. This will not instill respect and compassion for animals in these children, who are raised to treat animals as if they are just disposable pieces of property.
Children should be taught that pets are a lifelong commitment to break the cycle of neglect. Community leaders and the RCMP should take a leadership role in the communities and bring about positive change, instead of maintaining the status quo.
People (and all levels of government) need to recognize that all animals are sentient beings. They are not our property, to be mistreated or disposed of at our convenience.
There are responsibilities that come with having animals, such as providing food, water, shelter, exercise, spay/neutering… and compassion.
If people can’t fulfill their obligations to the animals in their care, they simply do not deserve to have animals.