A few months ago we were reading Territory Magazine (Issue No. 13 – http://territoryokc.com/) and we came across this article “Protecting Both Species” and it really struck us since we were just starting to work our way toward getting Dogtopia established in Oklahoma.
It made us re-think how great humans are at caring for animals. There are a lot of great people that do great things for animals but there’s also a lot of room to grow. The content focused on the Kirkpatric Foundation’s – The Oklahoma Animal Study that was published in 2016. It is the first comprehensive look at animal welfare across the state of Oklahoma. It also is the first one of it’s kind in any state. The foundation is working toward a goal of making “Oklahoma the safest and most humane place for animals by 2032.” That date of 2032 is 14 years away and that’s still a short timeline to do a lot of work. The full study is here: http://kirkpatrickfoundation.com/uploads//the-oklahoma-animal-study-final.pdf
What really intrigued us the most is the strong connection between animal abusers and the likelihood of domestic violence by that same person. Decades of research show animal cruelty is an indicator of violence against humans. Protecting animals can protect people too!
What’s also compelling is that in January of this year the Kirkpatric Foundation released a workbook – The Role of the Veterinarian – Reporting Animal Cruelty – Establishing Protocols to Identify and Report Suspected Animal Cruelty in Oklahoma that on page Page 4-5 spells out how a vet noticing an injured dog and reporting it led to identifying abuse with a child as well. You could say that this dog may have actually saved a human’s life. See the full workbook here: http://kirkpatrickfoundation.com/uploads//ok-reporting-animal-cruelty-book-web.pdf
My whole point of bringing this subject to light is that dogs are more than companions. They improve human health, human psychology, help vets with PTSD on their road to recovery, help the blind see, help the troubled find peace, etc. The title of “mans best friend” seems to fall well short of the value dogs bring into the world.
The Farm Animal Welfare Council published The Five Freedoms for animals. As you read the list below it isn’t even a question as to whether animals deserve this. What we would ask instead is any time you see an animal that isn’t enjoying these freedoms to take some kind of action. The life you save may be your own.