EDITORIAL: Where do we set priorities on animal abuse?
The recent saga of an ill Douglas County colt raised concerns throughout the community and further, perhaps because so much media attention was placed on the animal’s plight. Dubbed “Windchill,” the animal was discovered outside nearly dead on an extremely cold and windy day last month. Those familiar with horses say it wasn’t the exposure, but the lack of adequate food and water that harmed the animal. Despite concerted veterinary efforts, it died last weekend.
Unfortunately, these situations are not uncommon. Although most don’t attract as much attention as Windchill, they have become far too prevalent in Douglas County. A gut reaction would be to declare that “something must be done.” But what?
We live in a time when our law enforcement officers have more work than they can handle. The same can be said of prosecutors, the courts, the parole and the prison systems. When animal abuse situations arise, the criminal justice system is obligated to get involved. The question becomes, however, how much attention should be paid to crimes against animals when there is so much abuse against human partners, children and strangers? How should the priority be set?
Clearly, authorities can’t solve all of the world’s problems — and they certainly can’t do so without more resources.
By that, we mean additional employees, which cost money and would increase your taxes. Until there’s an outcry on that front, the outcry about animal abuse will fall on deaf ears.