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I love animals. They hold a huge spot in my heart, and I’ve worked with a group in Carroll County for nearly eight years that tries to find new homes for strays and unwanted or neglected animals there.
I have a soft heart that has resulted in the adoption of many stray animals during my adult life.
Now that you know this about me, imagine how I felt when I first heard a dog had been shot to death in one of our neighborhoods in Trimble County.
As reported in the Oct. 27 issue, Troy J. Pollock, 23, allegedly shot a dog to death in front of witnesses – many of whom were children. These children, reportedly, were dangerously close when the shooting occurred. It is not clear if the dog was being aggressive, but witness accounts indicate it wasn’t.
Whatever it is, the truth will come out in the courts, I imagine.
In the meantime, I admit that when I read the initial press release from the Kentucky State Police on the incident, I nearly became physically ill. I am extremely empathetic, and putting myself in the place of what I image to have been a terrified dog that was hiding in a garage and just trying to survive, only to be shot several times until it died, makes my heart ache. That is no way for any creature – human or otherwise – to die.
Here’s the thing: If the dog was aggressive and Pollock or the children were, in fact, in danger, then the dog did need to be dealt with somehow. If shooting it was the only recourse, then the entire neighborhood should have been made aware of the situation and everyone should have been safely indoors first.
Keep in mind, however, that it is only legal to shoot an aggressive dog if it is on your property. If the animal goes onto someone else’s property, that’s the time to call the sheriff’s office, KSP or the Humane Society to have a trained professional handle it.
Many people may not know that Trimble County Fiscal Court contracts with the Kentucky Humane Society’s office in Henry County, located at 4667 N. Main St., Eminence.
The animal control officer there will be dispatched to any residence in Trimble County to help take care of stray aniimals. The phone number is (502) 845-6446; shelter hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to noon Saturday; appointment only on Tuesday and Thursday; closed Sunday.
Please. If there is a stray dog or cat in your neighborhood and no one seems to want to give it a home, call that number. If it is in good health and has a good personality, shelter officials there will do their best to find it a good home.
And yes, it’s possible the animal might be euthanized – but that’s much more humane than allowing it to starve in the wild or die of disease.
Contrary to what many people believe, domesticated animals do not live well in the wild. They overpopulate and are prone to starvation and illness, as well as attacks by wild animals. They also can spread diseases to our household pets that may come in contact with them.
And stray dogs may form packs, which can become a dangerous situation.
Dumping unwanted pets out in the country, like so many people do, to me, is one of the most cruel things you can do, short of what Pollock is accused of doing.
Some people don’t believe dogs or cats have any more value than livestock. But, I believe all animals are God’s creatures, and that God put them on this earth to be our companions. It is our duty to care for them in return for their unconditional love. I’d love nothing more than to help start an animal-protection group in Trimble County. I envision it could work closely with Carroll County Animal Support (CarrollCountyAnimalSupport.webs.com) and eliminate the stray animal population, once and for all. If you are interested, send me an e-mail.
Phyllis McLaughlin is editor of The Trimble Banner. She lives in Milton with her husband, two formerly stray dogs and four cats.