All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ~Edmund Burke
NOTE: This post contains some disturbing descriptions of animal abuse. I understand that stories like this are hard to read, but they need to be told. I hope you’ll continue on…
When I was a kid, I saw a picture in a magazine of a dog with its legs somehow tied behind its back. The dog was alive, but unable to move. It was the saddest, most haunting image I’ve ever seen, and I’ve never been able to scrub it from my brain.
For me, dogs have always been a source of happiness, to be treated with kindness and affection. Until I saw that picture, I had no idea there were people who felt otherwise. It hurt too much to think about it, so for years, I didn’t.
I avoided any and all images of animals in pain—even cartoon animals in distress were too much for me. (To this day, I refuse to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas because the Grinch is so mean to his dog.)
Recently, though, I’ve been tougher on myself. If I want to help end animal suffering, I need to start opening my eyes to what’s going on.
Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away.
Last week I saw a story about Braveheart the dog on Madison.com that captured my heart. In the past, I would have avoided reading the article, for fear of more disturbing images forever burned into my memory. Instead, I clicked the link.
I read the story, and I looked at the pictures. I hope you will, too.
A scared little dog with a brave heart
He was found in Kentucky, cowering in a commercial dumpster—mangy, starved, infested with parasites, and covered in sores. Clearly, someone left him there to die.
The local shelter in Kentucky was not equipped to care for a dog so critically ill, a dog they called Romeo. They sought the help of other rescue organizations, using a list called Death Row Dogs. That’s how Romeo ended up here, in Madison.
Marti and Jim Houge of the One Starfish Rehoming Connections rescue in Columbus, Wisconsin, took Romeo in, and gave him a new name. Knowing what a tough battle he faced, they named him Braveheart.
Braveheart was malnourished and had a severe case of parasites. The sores on his body were likely caused from being confined to a cage for long periods, with no room to change positions.
After two weeks in intensive care at the UW Veterinary Care Small Animal Hospital, Braveheart is continuing his recovery with a foster family in Madison.
The Houges say despite everything he’s been through, Braveheart is a sweet, trusting dog who perks up a little more each day.
Braveheart still has quite a road ahead before he’s ready for adoption. He will need extensive follow-up care in the coming months.
It’s nice to think that cases like Braveheart’s are few and far between, but the truth is the number of abused and neglected pets in this country is in the millions. More of us need to open our eyes, get involved, and insist on tougher laws to protect the welfare of animals.
One Starfish Rehoming Connections
P.O. Box 404
Columbus, Wisconsin 53925