Sunday, January 3, 2010

Punish the offense or treat the illness?

By Tim Kalich

Our readers’ reaction last week to the rescue of several severely malnourished dogs was decidedly mixed.
One sentiment, arguably the most common, was one of outrage, calling for the prosecution of the animals’ owners on cruelty charges.

Another side felt that, as awful as the dogs appeared, the focus should be on getting the owners help. Their obvious mistreatment of the dogs may have been the sad but unintentional result of compulsive hoarding.

Then there were those, like me, who felt torn in the middle.

The picture of the emaciated dog, now known as Little Doll, produced feelings of disgust for anyone who would let an animal suffer like this. Little Doll didn’t get this bony overnight. It took weeks, maybe months of neglect to get to such a pitiable condition..." More