Here is this week’s Rural Reflections Radio program, Winter Visitor
I like a good story, particularly when it involves animals. I never watched the Walt Disney animal movies, even though the stories were good, because animals always died (Old Yeller, Bambi) or were separated from their family (Dumbo.) This is a happy animal story, Walt Disney has been gone a long time.
It was raining Tuesday morning which meant little to those working indoors but created a problem for a small, orange kitten living in the outdoors. Storm water drains have a grill plus a slot cut into the curb which creates an overhang, which is where the kitten sought shelter from the storm then fell the full distance to the bottom of the drain.
It does not take a village to raise a kitten-it takes good owners. It does, however, take a village of people to make up for careless pet ownership and fortunately that village was available Tuesday morning. Two concerned citizens heard the little cries from far below the pavement and called the Sheriff’s Office. An officer from the Police Department was dispatched along with a truck from the utilities department and the kitten was quickly located but a rescue was impossible as he was hiding inside a 12 inch storm pipe. Pet ownership is like parenting, if you don’t do a good job it seems no amount of government resources can make things better.
One of the neighbor’s in the Riverside Avenue area had been watching the scene that morning and walked over to help. He even climbed down into the storm drain and brought some food to entice the little kitten from it’s concrete shelter. After the city vehicle’s left, this good Samaritan went back to his house for some extra help-his own cat. The rescue cat was able to coax the little kitten out into the open after which he was removed and taken by the Police to the Pennington County Humane Society. I stopped by the society on Wednesday and he was doing fine and living with a sibling who had been found in the same area.
Okay, let’s break this down. Cats in town should not be allowed to stray; they get lost, breed more homeless cats and fall down storm drains. Pet ownership is a responsibility and those who fail to recognize that fact should maybe try a plant or collect dryer lint as a hobby. More happily, Thief River Falls, Minnesota is a town where if a kitten falls into a storm drain the following happens; people notice and call for help, help arrives, a neighbor (and his rescue cat) volunteer to help, a rescue is completed and finally the kitten is transported to the oasis that is the Humane Society. It’s not only a good story, this is story about a good town.
I’m sure many will want to adopt the little orange orphan in the next few days. I suspect he will need to grow some before he is ready for a new, caring family. However, the Humane Society has several full-grown versions of the little kitten who are ready for adoption right now at 218-681-8045. Their love will enrich your life and change you as a person; that’s the start of a good story.
Belief in someone greater than ourselves is not just a religious principle, it’s the cornerstone of good character. When you believe in a greater power, you relieve yourself of ego and arrogance plus it’s easier to submit to the rules that make us better , happier people. Unfortunately, some people have cast this belief to the side and replaced it with a belief in themselves, and only themselves. They have become their own savior and their own God. These same people obviously feel they no longer have to play by the rules, they have no respect for the intrinsic value of life and feel they will not have to answer for their actions. I have a horrible example of these actions to share with you.
Last week 29 dogs were rescued from a Kennel near Erskine, Minnesota. The dogs are now in the capable and professional hands of the Pennington County Humane Society of Thief River Falls, Mn. The dogs were underweight, malnourished and some are suffering from coccidia, which causes diarrhea. I suspect there will be many people who hope to adopt these dogs, however it will be some time before the case can work itself through court so it may be a bit before the final result is known. The dog breeds range from English Setters, German Shepherds, Irish and Gordon Setters to even a Chocolate Lab. The Polk County Sheriff’s office is on the case which gives me great confidence that justice will be served.
I don’t know the people who have this kennel and to speak about it prior to a court result would be irresponsible for me. I do know one thing, the backyard puppy mill is not a happy place where animals frolic while they await a new home. Often times, these are cramped animal factories where contentment and respect for life bow before the bottom line. I don’t know whether the folks who runs these little shops are stupid or evil; I don’t really care-the result is the same as the animals suffer
This brings me to my original premise; a lack of belief in a higher power makes humans somewhat less than human. When we no longer answer to a higher power and respect life as a whole, then we see it only as a commodity and we become somewhat monstrous. When people believe that they are the highest power, they can easily rationalize that their own needs come before others and the evil they do is right, without self-evaluation. Those who answer to no one, forget that they should be stewards of what is theirs. I wonder what God thinks about those who have to opportunity to do good for his creations and fail to do so? I suspect the only prayer at a “puppy mill” comes from the animals for their release.
That brings us to the Pennington County Humane Society, a true oasis for lost animals. I recently visited them and saw the 29 survivors from their former “home.“ Some are still covered in the feces that made up their one-time bed but volunteers have taken on the task of hygiene in which the former owners failed. These little animals have gotten their release. They are not healthy yet, but can sun themselves when they want and sit in the shade when it suits them. One little pup has even taken to chasing butterflies along the fence. One older dog sat in front of her shelter and simply allowed herself to relax. A small group of them even mauled me a little, it was wonderful.
The Humane Society was already doing a lot of business saving pets prior to the arrival of 29 new dogs. It’s a massive task which they’ve assumed; they need volunteers and money, plain and simple. The volunteers are to help walk the dogs and the money is for everything else. The Pennington County Humane Society phone number is 218-681-8045. As we look to a higher power for care and guidance, so do these little pups look to us to make those same characteristics into concrete action.