Sound Off: Animals need more protection

By Diana McClure and Joivanna Cashen

We are in total agreement with the two letters published Dec. 13 referring to animal control not doing their job. A lot of their time is spent riding around town, while no one is there to answer phones at the main office. Animal control is a tough job when it is done right. But should it matter when a life is at risk? Animal control needs to be adequately educated in order to enforce laws, along with educating others who are also in violation of state laws and Island County laws.

Their education should be advanced enough that just by looking at an animal they could see malnutrition, lack of healthcare, and poor conditions in which these animals have to live; this goes for household pets as well as farm animals. Animal control should make unannounced visits on a regular basis to those people who have been under violation once before or who have received complaints, to guarantee that they are taking proper care of their animals until the situation is fully rectified.

Animal control tends to make appointments with people, giving them two weeks to rectify the situation, then shows up or does not show up at all. Because of animal control’s lack of follow-ups, situations start right back up again and animal control has to be called again, continuing this irresponsible cycle.

It is my opinion that animal control should not have to repeatedly go to the same people for the same thing over and over. At some point the people should be considered irresponsible animal owners and the animals taken away and those people should not be allowed to have any more. When animal abuse continues for two or more years, there should be a law that withholds anyone from having an animal, whether it is household or farm animal. The state of Washington needs to toughen up its animal regulations, forcing people to take better care of their animals.

Any animal considered a pet should not be tied to a tree all day with no human contact and stuffed in a crate at night. A pet needs to have positive stimulation for mental health, proper nutrition to survive and love from feeling accepted. This is everything a child needs, why should an animal be different? If you do not have the time to do these things, get a stuffed animal, like one of the letters said. At least that stuffed animal would not feel any pain and suffering. Pets are not cheap! If you cannot afford one, do not get one!

Dr. Robinson in his article “Functions of water in the body” states, “Water is essential within the animal body as a solvent and is involved in hydrolylic reactions, temperature control, transport of metabolic products, excretion, lubrication of skeletal joints, and sound and light transport within the ear and eye (Robinson, 1957).”

Washington law says animals can go 36 hours without food or water before someone can step in and do something. Based off the quote above, water seems pretty important to go without, not to mention all the nutritional value food provides. How would you like to go 36 hours without food or water?

There should be mandatory classes for people who have received more than one complaint for not taking care of their animals, but they need to be taught by a person who is adequately educated in the humane treatment of animals. Animals are living creatures that feel pain just like people do and should be treated as such.

Diana McClure and Joivanna Cashen live in Oak Harbor.