Thursday, May 13, 2010

Animal lovers walk fine line between rescue, addiction

By Amanda Greever

Sometimes people really just don’t know when to stop.

Let me use alcoholism as an example. For those battling the bottle, alcohol is a need. It might start small, but the victim keeps knocking back shots or drinks as if they were water. For an alcoholic, one drink is too many but 10 is never enough.

A couple of weeks back I saw a story on the news that left me in tears. More than 70 dogs were removed from a home in South Knoxville. About 30 of them had to be euthanized due to the treatment they’d received. The dogs were malnourished and about six inches of feces covered the floor.

The couple living in the home, Glenda Marie Cagle and James Edward Cagle, have been charged with numerous counts of animal cruelty. And they should be.

It was the image of seeing a small dog that was dirty, limping and starving being taken out of the house that made my eyes watery. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals. After all, while your pooch might give his or her life to protect an owner, we are animals’ only defense against the cruelty of this world.

Animals look to us for shelter, food, a warm bed and most importantly, love.

I won’t profess to know what drove the Cagles to live in these extreme circumstances. Perhaps, they started out small, rescuing a stray dog or two. But the number of dogs needing a home just kept growing, and they didn’t know how to say no. Or perhaps, they are just cruel and heartless and didn’t give a damn. If they were living in six inches of poo, obviously they weren’t concerned about themselves. So why would they be concerned about 70-plus dogs who couldn’t say a word or escape the cruel fate life had given them...." More

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