I'm away for the week, lucky me! No I'm not sunning myself in some exotic clime but spending the week with three writing friends tucked away in a lovely cottage working on my novel in sunny Whitstable.
I've been pleasantly surprised by the lovely dogs I've spotted on my daily walks, all are happy and friendly. If only those who knock our four legged chums could see these dogs they would soon understand why a dog is man's best friend. Next door to our cottage live two cute Tibetan Terriers who seem to love life going by their excitement when we meet them while out walking. Sadly today I spottted another side, an all too familiar side to dog nwglect. I've not seen one out of control dog or indeed one nasty specimen on four legs.
Walking down the main street in Whitstable at midday we spied two dogs tied to railings outside Budgen's supermarket. Their leads were tight and the poor dogs had no choice but to sit on the frozen ice covering the ground, they tried to stand but the leads were tied in such a way they were forced to sit. They were shivering and obviously very cold. Both kept looking in the one direction - most likely the direction that their owner had headed when he or she abandoned them. The two dogs seemed to be elderly, both were of mixed breeding with short brown wire haired coats rather like lurchers, they looked similar so were most likely related in some way. One had a very large mamary tumour that was remarked upon by many passers by
We decided to wait and see if they were claimed or if the owner would appear. I had decided to have a word with them about the apparent ill treatment of these sweet dogs. The dogs started to whimper and the shivering increased. Well wrapped up in my coat with gloves, and boots on I thought how awful it was for these dogs to be treated in such a way. Not living in the area I wasn't sure of the where abouts of a veterinary surgery or the police. I would not have telephoned the RSPCA as most likely we would all have died of hypothermia waiting for them to arrive (note: I've encountered this in the past and it is not an idle comment).
After 30 minutes two women approached. The older one pushed a wheelchair with several children and entered the supermarket the other in her 30's stopped to untie the dogs and I approached her. I said that her dogs were very cold and shivering, she denied this. I said they should have coats on and should not have been left so long, she told me to mind my own business. I asked about the mammary tumour and was told it was not a tumour and that a vet knew about it - I've seen enough tumours like this in my life to know that it must have been painful and likely to burst. At this stage the dog could well have cancer in other parts of its body.
As me and my friend spoke to the woman she became abusive, said she'd owned dogs for 15 years, and these dogs were 11 and 8. The older lady appeared and told us they were working dogs (??) and should be used to the cold. No dog tied up so it couldn't move and forced to sit on ice could keep warm. They both walked away calling abuse over their shoulders.
This saddened me, I hate to think of these elderly dogs and where they are living, the woman couldn't even remove a cigarette from her mouth when she spoke to us. What life have these dogs got? Come to that what about the children?
If you live in Whitstable and spot these two dogs, approximately knee high, mid brown in colour with white splashes - one with a tumour that must be at least five inches in length hanging from its stomach please keep an eye on them, let the authorities know where they live.
The Animal Welfare Act states that animals should have:
A proper diet that includes food and water
Somewhere suitable to live
The ability to express normal behaviour
Protection from and treatment of illness and injury
Suitable living accomodation.
Do you trhink these two poor dogs are receiving these basic requirements?
If you are the owner of these two little dogs, please take them to a vet and please keep them warm and safe at all times. They do not deserve the abuse you dished out to them today.