We have more than our share of animal abuse in Florida, but one recent offense was extremely gut wrenching. An irritated owner flicked his cigarette at his dog and the poor victim burst into flames. A neighbor called animal control after sighting the dog rolling around on the ground to put out the fire.
The news story showed patches of fiery red flesh that framed the dog’s mournful eyes. Red splotches covered his body surrounded by small areas of singed black hair. His legs, his face, his entire body was inflamed.
My first reaction was that they should have put the poor thing out of its misery by putting him to sleep. But several days after treatment, he is a happy pup grateful to those who are managing his care. Apparently, they are optimistic about a full recovery.
I’ve always had a tender spot in my heart for stray animals and abused animals that have been rescued. Most of the pets I’ve owned through the years have been mixed breeds that are lonely, unloved, and deserted and stray cats that are scrawny and in bad need of care.
I was delighted to see an article in our community newsletter about the needs of local shelters; needs that I hadn’t thought about before:
• used towels for mopping up messes and larger ones for drying off a wet dog
• blankets for comfort and warmth
• kitty litter
• paper towels
• Pet food for the Animal Services’ Community Pet Pantry available to pet owners down on their luck (a preventive measure for potential abuse).
I urge those who love animals to contact their local shelters and animal hospitals to find out what their needs are and how you can donate. A friend of mine saves her shredded paper and takes garbage bags full of it to hospitals and emergency shelters where they use the paper for bedding. There are many ways to be of service including financial donations and the actual adoption of a rescue pet.
My oldest daughter feels so strongly about helping abused animals that she has written two children’s books and uses her Blog and the sale of books to raise money for this purpose.
The first book in the series we worked on as a team: Pam Torres as the writer and me as the illustrator. This was a fun experience, and we both learned a lot about the publishing world and current trends.
Here is a link to the “Project Madison Series” and a sample book that you may download at Pam Torres Blog