I was reading my e-mail this week, when up on my screen popped a post with the most incredible story. I thought it had to be a hoax because there are so many of those. Nope. This was real. Almost surreal. And really, really ugly.
Mayor James Valley of Helena - West Helena, Arkansas, it was reported, decided to release all of that city's shelter dogs into the nearby national forest. He did WHAT??! Yes, that was my reaction. He expects defenseless dogs who are scared, lonely and abandoned to make their way in the forest. Domesticated pets are supposed to do what in order to eat, drink and find love, care and medical attention? He had the temerity to claim, according to a news report I read online in a Dallas newspaper, that the dogs were better off! The shelter is run-down, the temporary shelter wasn't good enough and all this time, when the civilized world has volunteers who raise funds for shelters, who staff them with proper personnel and integrate programs such as Karen Pryor's clicker training programs for dogs and cats in shelters to make them more adoptable, the residents and officials of Helena - West Helena, Arkansas have been doing exactly what?
By the way, releasing them into a National forest is an illegal act.
I'm still pondering all of this. I still can't believe that this has happened in a civilized society. Frankly, it makes me sick.