Simply put, some people should never have care and control of an animal. Whether it's abuse, neglect or a simple financial inability to care for it doesn't matter. The animal suffers needlessly. And in those instances, intervention is a moral obligation.

This past summer I reported someone I know, a friend of sorts in fact, to the humane society for all of the above.

The details are unimportant. This person was given dog that, for a myriad of reasons, he never should have had. While I never witnessed any physical abuse the animal was terrified of him and the conditions it lived in deteriorated each time I saw it, as did its health. Despite numerous discussions and offers to help him with its care or find it another home he refused to give it up, nothing improved, and things only worsened until I had no choice but to make the call. I haven't spoken to him since.

That being said, when intervening in or reporting a situation, care should be taken to be reasonably certain. Erring on the side of caution is one thing. Being outright mistaken is another. And it does happen.

yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 3:19

I fully support the WSPA (The World Society for the Protection of Animals), the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and, while their views and activities often detract from their message and make them more a subject of mockery, I even, in principle, support PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Despite our collective arrogance and sense of entitlement, despite our continued shortsighted, and largely greed based, exploitation and destruction of the very world that sustains us, we are the stewards of this planet, not its masters. The sooner we learn that the better. I just don't see it happening any time soon.

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(Note: The switch between past and present tense in the first part of this article is because, as of this writing, 'Mama' and 'Papa' are no longer together and my baby boy is with 'Mama'. I miss them both. More than words can say.)