Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation
Protect. Advocate. Legislate.
Friday, April 17, 2020
Missourians are heading into our third week of state issued lock-down as we shelter-in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Think about it. Many of us are going stir-crazy, trapped within the confines of our homes, some alone, just as many with family. Either way, we feel trapped, and this feeling is anathema to us. We grab every opportunity available to peek out from our domestic prisons, emerging to take walks, breathe in fresh air, feel the sun on our faces, enjoy an early morning jog or treat ourselves to the simple pleasure of a late afternoon breeze...all these things we take for granted and yet devour ravenously, urgently now, today - savoring these moments because we know that all too soon we must return to our quarantine.
For most of us, the knowledge that this is but a small sacrifice for the greater good, is what sustains us. And it is after all, temporary.
And I can't help but think of all the dogs trapped within the confines of their mud encrusted outdoor "igloos" or the rusty patchwork of their metal cages; these poor animals who never really get to feel the grass beneath their feet or the sensation of sunshine on their backs - not even the warmth of human touch. These puppy mill dogs are sentenced to an entire lifetime of quarantine by the people who breed them so callously for profit, reducing these creatures to quotidian commodities. And I think to myself, yes, I understand a little bit better how they must feel, day in, day out...trapped. And I wonder if maybe now, these breeders might also grasp what it is to feel trapped in a cage, limited by the parameters of a tiny living space - more just existing than it is, living.
It doesn't have to be this way. There are compassionate alternatives. We must work together to educate our friends and family to never buy a dog from a pet store or a breeder whose property - and breeding dogs (in addition to the puppies) are not fully, visually vetted. And we must take every opportunity available to educate our legislators that the conditions under which some of us seem to believe "trapped" is a viable way to live as long as it is profitable, is in fact, unreasonable and unethical and should not be tolerated.
Long after the COVID-19 quarantine is lifted and we are able to move about freely, these dogs will still remain trapped in their prisons, sentenced to a seemingly endless cycle of breeding for profit. It is up to us to be their voice and continue to work for changes in our laws - changes that promote humane treatment of our animals and the amelioration of such deplorable conditions. We must hold accountable those who neglect, exploit, and abuse animals for profit.
We must continue to fight for the animals in Missouri, as we have been fighting for them before our own quarantine - and now, perhaps even more so, after it.
posted by Michele Martise
P.O. Box 300036, St. Louis, MO 63130
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