Guest column: Humane Society wrong in this case to seize animals
December 1, 2011 · Updated 5:45 PM
I’m a disabled retired ranch woman, having kept animals my entire life. I don’t like to see “abused” animals any more than any other compassionate, caring person. I believe in the work of the Humane Society. Without them, animals would be far worse off than they are.
However, in the instance of the large seizure, I believe they were wrong on many counts. There are many “backyard” animal keepers whose animals are well fed and have shelter. Many use camper shells for different animals. Their owners use what they can to shelter their animals. Many of these people are not rich. They cannot afford a “vet” every time something goes wrong or for “general checkups,” thus you learn to doctor your own animals in many cases. A visit to the vet means a minimum of around $200 each animal (my experience in several instances with different local vets here): I went to East Bremerton after being charged almost $1,000 (for which I am still paying) for a dog with a severe problem which was not explained to me until after the pesos had racked up - only to have to have the dog put down anyway. I will not deal with Port Orchard vets anymore. Not only was the E. Bremerton vet cheaper (where I took my dog to be slain), they were kind and compassionate, while my feeling with some local vets was, the animal was secondary to the fee.
In the case of the seized animals, only animals that appeared to have been in dire distress, housed inadequately, or otherwise “mistreated” - should have been seized.
As to slaughtering your own animals for your household table, it is not illegal and that Humane officer was wrong. As to “keeping feed in front of the cow 24 hours” - she was wrong on that count also. You do NOT keep food in front of any animal “24 hours a day” - especially a cow or a horse - for the very reason its owner stated: Bloat from too rich and too much feed can kill an animal much more quickly than starvation! Cows, sheep, and horses all bloat easily and can die within hours of the bloat starting! And in this rainy country, unless you have a dry storage area, animal feed molds quickly, which is also fatal to the animal.
Not to mention how obese many animals will become when allowed to eat all they want because of boredom or inactivity.
Why don’t neighbors - instead of calling the cops - offer to help clean up places instead of complaining. Trade labor for meat, or something.
They need to give those animals back so those people can make a living. I’m not just speaking from “misinformation.” I have been a responsible, knowledgeable farm and ranch woman for over 50 years, and we should know a little bit more about our animals than a person who has never had them or walked in our shoes.
Finally, a warning to those wanting to get and raise animals for whatever reason - do your research. Find out what you need to know about the animals you choose: licenses, usage, care, diseases, vet fees, whether or not you can afford them for the long term, and any the consideration.
Norma A. Vincent