This article is about an event that just occurred.

The call was from the owner of 3 dogs who needed straw for their dog houses to protect them from the coming freezing temperature...

When I arrived there were two small dogs in the front yard chained to a chain link fence and one in the back. (This is mental cruelty within itself, as documented by animal behavior specialists.) That is why in a lot of states now, tethering an animal to a fixture results in a neglect cruelty charge. Our County Commissioners and some local city councilmen, such as Tuscumbia, ignore this cruelty and allow this to occur.

It was obvious these two small dogs had been on these chains for ever and there was no grass in the sweep arc of the chains.

One was a small reddish hound, short haired mixed puppy...Sweet tender eyes looking at me to just pay him some attention....his doghouse was old with nothing inside to keep him warm at all.

The other about 25 ft away was a small reddish blond mixed which at first you would think was going to eat you up, and was aggressive. Her actions wanted you to stand back out of range of the chain...Same condition of the dog house... this dog house opening was facing directly north into the wind. 

I found out quickly what she wanted was to be petted and given attention along with food. They both were starving, and yes I gave them food.

My first thought was: My God, this dog has no protection at all as the owner has left this dog's shelter opening facing where the wind can blow straight into the edifice. This dog has very little hair, no fat, and has been allowed to freeze on all these cold nights. it would be like you leaving your front and back door open to the winter wind. What kind of effect would it have on you and your family?

Next came the the physical appearance of the dogs...on a scale of 5, with 5 being the worst, showing ribs and skeletal backbone, these two were a 4.

When I knocked on the door a very elderly lady came to the door and then onto the porch. I asked her, Can you tell me why these two dogs are in the shape they are in. It is obvious they are not being fed. Her answer stunned me...

I am in bad health and there are times I can't get out here to them. I then asked, are these your dogs? Ans: No...they belong to my 18 year old granddaughter ...and she does not feed them...I have to... The Granddaughter was not there.

How often do you feed them...? . Ans: Oh! I try to feed them about every 2-3 days...

The water buckets have water in them...but it is green and unfit to drink...when were they given fresh water..? Ans: I don't Know....

I got out my cell phone and called Anthony Wilbanks of Colbert County Animal Control...and told him what I had found. He stated, he was on his way... The residence was well known to him...

As a person who is trying to help these dogs and having no authority other than to offer help, I could do nothing else for these two dogs.

Now! I know you are probably thinking with the situation as it was, Anthony would seize the dogs for neglect and write the owner up for neglect. The reality is, he did neither...

I know you are going to ask why not? Here is the stark truth of things...The Colbert County Animal Shelter is full to capacity from this very issue I just presented to you. The County is infested with animal owners who have health reasons, financial reasons, uneducated about how to even do the basics for an animal, just plain irresponsible and totally don't care at all.

If Anthony picked up every animal in Colbert County that needed to be seized, the County Government would have to build a facility 10 times its present size and quadruple the Staff just to take care of all of them. The Court system would be flooded with Neglect and Cruelty cases. So! he is forced to pick the worst of the worst...

Presently, the Shelter kennels have a large percentage of them taken up by dogs that have been seized because of cruelty and neglect. The Shelter has to keep them until the cases have been resolved in court.

Some of these dogs have been at the shelter for months and it may be months more before a decision is made on the owners' guilt or innocence.

So the next question is: What is the answer?

The answer is utilizing people who love animals and are willing to help these animals in desperate need of just basic care. These animals are voiceless...they depend on human souls who have the desire to make a difference in their lives.

Believe me once you start doing this you will be hooked for life...Just as you bring joy and tenderness to their lives, they also enrich yours, and you wonder why you did not do this sooner...

We need people who don't mind going out whenever to educate the owners and assist them where they need help. If the owners can no longer take care of the animals or refuse to do what is needed for the animal, we then screen them as adoptable or not...

They are then put on an adoptable list...the animal stays with the owner until it is adopted out. Each Volunteer will be given a case once trained.

You may be taking straw for warmth, an adequate shelter, food, basic medical supplies, or transporting animals to rescue centers and so forth.

Now! getting back to the above case, I have taken on working with the owner of these dogs. I have yet to meet the granddaughter but I assure you our meeting is about to happen. If they decide they can't keep them or are unwilling to provide for them, we then will adopt them out.

If you are interested in discussing how you can help in providing assistance to these many, many animals in Colbert County please give me a call at 256-324-9347

Carl Overton

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30 Jan 2019

By Trader