Duke was brought into the shelter one morning, he could not even walk into the shelter himself, he had to be carried most of the way in and laid down in his kennel. Outrage, horror, anger, sadness and tears were what came when you looked at Duke. This poor animal had been deprived of the very basic needs, food and water, for a very long time. Every rib was sticking out, he could barely open his mouth and he had no muscle left almost because they had withered away. And while you think Duke may have been found in the streets, he was brought to us out of someone's backyard.
We took care of Duke that day. We were scared to move him to take him to a vet's office so we treated the sores on his body, the places on his ears that flies had been eating and we tried to get him to eat and drink. When we sat in his pen with him and talked to him, he would wag his tail to let us know that he knew we were there and I think to say "thank you" also.
When I got into work the next day, I went to Duke's pen first thing. He was laying down and I saw him take a breath. I waited, then nothing. . . Duke passed away. While we were very upset with Duke's passing, we knew that he was much better off, and we also knew that for at least his last day, he had been care for and loved.
Duke's story is just one of many. We have more animals brought it that have been neglected and abused. We put effort into trying to get the owners prosecuted, but it seems that no matter what, our efforts have gone to waste. We want to raise awareness with Duke's story. We want people in our community to write to our judges and prosecutors and tell them that they want people who abuse and neglect animals prosecuted as they should be. Owning a pet is a privilege that everyone deserves, obviously, and if people have a pet they should take care of it. While we cannot make anyone "love" their pet, they should at the very least provide the basic needs.
So please write, and write in memory of Duke to your city prosecuting attorney, to your municipal judges and to the law organization in your community that you want something done, that cases such as these should no longer be allowed to slide between the cracks.
Lanette L. Baker
Sikeston Area Humane Society