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Congratulations to Lake Worth, FL — Protecting Victims Without Voices

04/21/2011
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I am saddened that all too often I turn on the television or pick up the local newspaper only to read about another horrific incident of animal abuse; once again it has happened, this time in my own back yard.

A Lantana, FL pet shop owner who had 26 cats, dogs, a rabbit, a bird and a hedgehog seized from her and was jailed on unspecified charges. Authorities also found five dead dogs and cats in her freezer.

There are puppy mills in which sometimes dozens of animals are confined to small cages; destined only for breeding. These animals often never feel the kind touch of a caring human being; receive no comforting petting; and no love at all.

Reports have been developing of even pet store owners breeding animals in cages in their homes in deplorable conditions. Unscrupulous breeders over breeding dogs and cats in order to make a buck are becoming more and more common.

For these reasons, I am proud to say that Lake Worth, Florida has become the first city on the East Coast to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.  The city of Lake Worth, Florida only allows the sale of dogs and cats on the same property where they were bred, which effectively prohibits pet shops from selling animals.

There is no excuse for abusing animals.  We need stricter penalties, fines and jail time so that people will think twice before they abuse an animal for any reason. Sadly, we still consider pets to be chattel and, as long as they remain property, I am afraid we will continue to lag behind in our own humanity.

Perhaps we should be reminded of what a great and peaceful man once said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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