Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Reporter 

Officer urges more pet abuse reporting


A Lhasa Apso taken to Castle Rock Veterinary Clinic last month became an example in the importance of taking care of one’s pets after the veterinarian was forced to put the dog down.

“When the basic necessities are denied, who suffers? The pet suffers,” Mary Maestas of Castle Rock Veterinary Clinic said. “The stench of rotting flesh should alert the pet parent of a serious problem, but with some people, that too goes unnoticed until the poor pet that has been in excruciating pain for a very long time, is too weak to hold its head up.”

At that point though, Maestas said help came too late. The most humane thing to do was to put the animal to sleep and out of pain.

Before buying an animal, Maestas urges all potential pet owners to consider whether they can provide their pet with a nutritional diet, shelter, veterinary care, daily brushing and grooming.

Animal control officer Tracy Wyant also urges potential pet owners to self reflect and research dog breeds to see what kind of dog would fit their lifestyle.

“Do your homework, research your breed, and don’t get a breed because it’s cool or it’s trending right now,” Wyant said. “Get one that fits your lifestyle.”

If you are an active person, it is recommended to get a dog that likes to be active as well. If you are not an active person, do not buy a dog that requires a lot of exercise. Sometimes though, pet owners fail to consider whether a particular dog breed will fit their lifestyle, or whether they have the means to properly take care of a dog physically, mentally or financially.

Unintentional pet cruelty includes a variety of things. It could mean the pet owner fails to provide basic needs for the animal, such as food, water, shelter, veterinary care or grooming. The pet owner could be living with a mental disability, resulting in failure to provide proper care for their pet. Improper pet care could also be a result of a lack of education.

Pet abuse happens whether it is intentional or not, but it is stoppable. To prevent more unnecessary dog deaths, like the Lhasa Apso, it is vital to report suspected animal abuse.

“Every call for service is investigated by an officer,” Wyant said. “We take animal cruelty seriously. Be our eyes and ears. We can’t fix it if we don’t know there is a problem.”

“We are the voice of the voiceless and it is up to us to help them, and in helping them we will be helping the pet parent,” Maestas said. “Call your local animal control and report it. Don’t let them suffer any longer.”


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