LETTER from TERESA CHAGRIN
To the Editor:
The horrific case of Zoe, an emaciated German shepherd who chewed off her front leg after being confined to a flimsy plastic carrier outdoors without any food or drinkable water, is a wake-up call to citizens to keep an eye out for “backyard dogs.”
Unfortunately, cases of extreme neglect like Zoe’s aren’t unusual. Dogs relegated to the backyard 24 hours a day are commonly deprived of even the most basic care. Growing puppies are often found with too-small collars imbedded in their necks because their owners never bothered to change them. Some dogs subsist – barely – on scraps and garbage. Many never see a vet, and suffer and die from injuries, parasites and diseases that could easily be prevented and treated.
Dogs are social animals who are happiest and safest living indoors, but with winter weather upon us, it is absolutely vital that at the very least, they be provided with proper shelter – dogs left outside may suffer frostbite and exposure or even die without it.
Most cities and counties require that animals be provided with adequate food, water, and shelter. If you see a dog going without these basic necessities, please report it to authorities, like the UPS driver who spotted Zoe. Her alleged abuser is being held accountable thanks to his intervention.
Animal Care & Control Issues Manager
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals