"The man who kills the animals today is the man who kills the people who gets in his way tomorrow."- Dian Fossey, American scientist, anthropologist
The owners of a Hoke Country, North Carolina no-kill animal shelter will face multiple animal cruelty charges. On Wednesday, January 27th a search warrant was served on Havens-Friends for Life following numerous public complaints. Linden Spear, 59 and Stephen Joseph Spear, 67 have been under investigation since reports of animal neglect by local visitors and other agencies began to surface. Details ranged from open wounds, malnutrition and lack of food or drinking water. The shelter housed over 600 animals 270 dogs, 250 cats, 40 horses and pigs making this one of the largest rescue operations in ASPCA history. The outdoor shelter had no protection from snow or rain where animals were left to roam outside or forced to live in filthy overcrowded wire cages. Many animals were suffering from upper respiratory distress and starvation. The entire ASPCA rescue mission video can be seen here at their official website.
As an animal lover allowing animals to needlessly suffer is incomprehensible when all of us have an obligation to protect our domesticated pets as well as those in the wild. Neglect is just as much a part of animal cruelty as violent abuse. Neglect is knowingly allowing an animal to die slowly from starvation, exposure or disease. As human beings we need to enact more measures to control the pet population with spaying and neutering programs and eliminating puppy mills forever. Euthanasia isn't something animal shelters want to perform but given the alternative which is life locked in cages or constant physical suffering we need to choose what's best for an animal. Neglect, starvation, leaving pets outside to freeze and other forms of cruel abuse is a slow, agonizing, painful death for any animal. As a society with the means to do so, we have to do better.