Cruelty is my pet hate

Companion animals give us so much: unconditional love, joy, loyalty and uncomplaining friendship, to name a few.

When any human member of our household comes home we are met with a song and waggly tail dance from our dog Hunter, who got so excited last week she unfortunately squashed some flowers. I adopted Hunter more than seven years ago from a local animal care organisation and she has been my constant companion since – through several interstate and city-country moves.

So when I saw a report on the ABC’s 7.30 Report on Tuesday night about the appalling conditions some dogs and puppies are kept in, I patted Hunter and covered her eyes and ears and tried to restrain myself from yelling at the TV.

The report showed RSPCA officers raiding ‘puppy farms’, where unscrupulous operators breed ‘designer’ dogs and mother dogs are kept pregnant or feeding for pretty much their entire lives in cages.

When I lived in Sydney I used to call Hunter a Great Labrador because she looks like a cross between a Labrador and a Great Dane and other dog-walkers wanted to know what sort of dog she is. To be honest, I don’t really know or care what her breeding is – I just know that the love I have for her is returned without question to me and the rest of my family.

Here at The Echo we regularly received pleas from animal organisations looking for homes for companion animals, usually dogs and cats – and there’s another such story below.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a pet I can really only repeat the advice animal welfare organisations give all the time: make sure you are ready for the commitment involved. Also, if you are looking for a specific breed of animal, make sure you ask the right questions about where it was bred (or adopt from one of our fantastic local caring organisations, who are always looking for loving homes).

Animal cruelty comes in many horrible and disturbing forms but mistreating dogs so you can make a quick buck is so calculating and callous that it defies understanding. Animals teach us so much and they deserve our love and compassion.


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