By: Joel Allen

When I was a boy, my mom taught me to treat other people and animals with respect and kindness. She also taught me to stand up and fight for those who cannot or do not have a voice. Does that make me a PETA member? Absolutely not! Are there better ways man can treat animals? I believe there are. But that is a different path and opinion I do not wish to go down.

Suffice it to say, how a person treats their animals shows me how they would treat people. Mark Twain stated, “The more people I meet, the more I love dogs.” I have often thought this when I see the world as it stands. We, the people of Athens, have members of the community who are very high ranking that do not care for their animals as many of us do. Their thought process says, “It is just a dog. Eh, so what if it is chained outside or tethered to an area 24/7! Who cares? I don’t have to worry about the voter until Election Day, and by then, they will have forgotten what I decided to do or did with my decision on the council.”

Wake up “SHEOPLE!” I don’t care if that politician is a Democrat or Republican. If we allow them to keep thinking they are not working for us, the PEOPLE, then why vote? Open your eyes everyone and just look, watch, and listen. Then, watch their actions, because actions speak louder than words. Now, why am I ranting so much?! I am about to share why; and when the guilty party or parties see this, they are either going to feel the guilt, shame, or maybe even anger, because I know who they are … and they know I know the truth about them. Besides, I think we need new blood in these local political offices.

Once upon a time, there was a high-ranking official who lived in the land of Athens, Alabama. He had some dogs who were getting older, and the man did not want to dirty his hands with caring for them. So, his trusting dogs loaded up in his vehicle and went for a ride. He arrived at the local animal shelter and escorted his dogs inside. His words to the staff, “My dogs are getting too old for me to care for. Either find them new homes or euthanize them.” His actions will name him; I do not have to. But my vote will say much. What a betrayal of trust! Dogs promise two things to man: their love and their life. No strings attached.

Now, I am going to mention a border collie who came in as a stray. He is elderly and does not have much chance of being adopted because he is old. His name is Sterling, and he is waiting for someone to just give him a place to call home for his last days.

I saw him and he was quiet and just laid there in his shelter bed while his neighbors barked for attention. He has the black and white coloring of a border collie and appears to be full-blooded. He is listed as being found on 16 May 2018. No one has claimed him as of yet. If someone wants to provide this dog with a loving home for the rest of his days, please contact Athens Limestone Animal Shelter 256-771-7889.

Now don’t get me wrong. Circumstances can lead to many surrenders, and it is heart breaking. Deaths in the family can cause family members not to want to take on the dog, leading to surrendering the dog. I know of one surrender where someone had to give up her dog, and she was a wonderful beagle mix named Daisy. We still think about her a lot, but she was placed from the shelter into a rescue facility.

When we all get old, unless God calls us home early, we are going to reap what we sow. What the youth of today learn from their elders will be their actions taken tomorrow. A parting shot to the ones who believe a dog is just a dog, and it is okay to dump them in a shelter or on the side of the road when they are old – the betrayal they feel is terrible. They shake with fear because they are locked away from the familiar smell of home, and their routines they knew for years, come to a grinding halt. At a shelter, they are housed in a room with a concrete floor and a door leading in and out when it is time for exercise. The new smells they endure are unfamiliar, and all they hear when they are taken in are the other dogs barking and crying. What a terrifying feeling that must be to be dropped off by someone they trusted, and when they look up their human they loved with all their heart is not there anymore.

Listen everyone. One day you will be old, and when that day comes, your children you taught to follow your example will come to you and take you in to their home, or away to a nursing home because you are too old and cannot care for yourself anymore, and they may not want the responsibility just as you did not want the responsibility of your dogs. Let that sink in, and then you should repent of your sin not to me or the community but to God the Father who saw what you did. The Philistines are at your gate!
By: Joel Allen

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