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Humans should be more humane 

Humans should be more humane

We thought things would be different. After years of fighting for the basic rights of "pets" in 2009 we finally reached a positive outcome when the felony animal cruelty bill was signed into law. Many concessions were made, but the animal welfare proponents truly felt that Arkansas was moving in the right direction. Since then, our all-volunteer animal rescue and welfare organization has been called by people — who often live in counties where there is little help — to address the abuse and/or neglect of animals considered by most as "pets," that being dogs, cats and horses.

We have had numerous calls of distress from those who have watched the unkind and inhumane treatment of pets being played out openly without consequences. Many times the callers have contacted their local sheriff, who says "there is nothing we can do," even though they are the ones with the authority, but not the means to confiscate and care for animals in neglectful or abusive situations, unless there is help from a national organization like the Humane Society of the United State or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Only in isolated, extreme situations has action been taken by authorities.

Those of us who attempt to resolve these situations when the law fails are left to negotiate the release of the animals in the best way we know how, sometimes even buying the pet to get it out of a dire situation. Many times we are helpless to do anything. If not for the intervention of the HSUS in 2010 when our rescue discovered what was considered the worst puppy mill case in this state, who knows what the outcome would have been for all those dogs? The owners of the mill were charged with multiple counts of felony animal cruelty.

We can't count on humans to be humane. Betty Jones, president of Arkansas Horse Council, told the Times last week in an article about legislation that would make it harder to address the abuse or neglect of animals, "it's sad ... that we want to give animals equal rights to humans." Really? We have never come close to that. Is it really too much to ask that an animal be given basic shelter, food and water? I truly believe that God put us in charge of His creatures and that we are responsible to care for them in the best way we know how. Is it too much to ask not to be starved to death, or beaten to death with a bat?

Kathy Woods

President and founder of Out Of The Woods

Animal Rescue of Arkansas

Little Rock

An ode to print

Once there was a box

White and solid, it stood,

With a little window.

Made of steel, not wood.

Its contents made of paper,

A "tabloid," it was called.

Newsprint wrapped 'round ink.

Just that. The Times. That's all.

That box's contents varied —

Changed weekly, so it seems.

"The Best of" — or the "Guide" —

Even (rarely! — thanks!) sports teams.

Each new product offered

A window of its own

Into the heart of Arkansas,

Town by city by town.

But, lo, that box is missing.

Taken from its spot.

Maybe never to return.

Its place ... a vacant lot.

I guess not many others

Availed themselves of copies.

But I did; and I give a sigh,

Passing by in my jalopy.

Online's nice, I gather.

I check it now and then.

But nothing beats a paper.

Yeah. That ol' has-been.

And so I seek another

Box. And more, its Observ'nt contents.

So I can keep abreast

Of movies and events.

Whomsoever knoweth

Where a box is found

Enroute from here to there

Please share! (At least, allude!)

It's now my newest mission.

It's ... mission critical.

Please forward information

From your systems geo-political.

The times have changed

That's understood. Let not

The Times become a Newsweek ...

Let copies still be what

Brings me to a box

A new one, with its window,

Wherein I find the best of Times

And I rejoice! (Nope, that doesn't rhyme. So sue me.)

Signed,

Loyal Reader (of some 18 years)

Whose Castle of Employment is Heifer International

And whose Late, Lamented Box was at the Corner of Shall Street and World Avenue (sort of like the Corner of Happy and Healthy).

And whose real name is Janet Jones, Conway

Janet Jones

Conway

Editor's note: The Times is in no danger of going the way of Newsweek; we've simply shuffled around a few of our boxes. If you have circulation concerns or suggestions, write our circulation director, Anitra Hickman, at anitrahickman@arktimes.com.

Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is arktimes@arktimes.com. We also accept faxes at 375-3623. Please include name and hometown.

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