The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Freeman says Man's Best Friend - Dogs, Deserve Better
In January 2005, your newspaper published my letter about the plight of those dogs in Hancock County that are kept continually tethered outdoors.
As a youngster, Christine spent much time with the chubby, happy, wiggly puppy her father gave her.
But as Pepper grew into a big dog and Christine became a teenager preoccupied with other activities, Pepper was relegated to a lonely life outdoors, continually chained to a doghouse.
On the few occasions Christine found time to visit the doghouse, Pepper would "go craze with excitement and would still obey the commands I'd taught him years before."
One day when Christine came home from college, Pepper was gone. Her father explained since nobody wanted to care for Pepper, Christine's brother shot him.
Today, an adult, Christine is racked with guilt. She has cried many times for Pepper and his sad life.
She urges people to let their dogs live indoors, as members of our families.
We should always exercise, love and protect "man's best friend."
After reading Christine's story in the summer 2009 issue of "PETA's Animal Times", I hugged Lexi, my hound dog, and I thanked God for the opportunity to share my home with Lexi and my two adopted hamsters.
A few states and many localities in America now limit the number of hours dogs can be tethered outdoors.
I am disappointed that neither the State of Illinois or any communities in Hancock County have such laws.
For further information about state/localities that protect dogs from prolonged tethering, and information about how to get such ordinances in our own community, visit dogsdeservebetter.org.
Christine conveys an important message. And when we treat animals with kindness, we enrich our own lives as well as their lives.
Canandaigua, New York
(Chairman, Public Education Committee of Animal Rights Advocates Upstate New York)
JOEL FREEDMAN was a George Washington Award winner for submitting thousands of letters throughout the nation, awarded by the oldest newspaper in the country west of The Hudson - The Messenger Post Newspaper in Canandaigua, New York.
Messenger Editor Dan Hall said, the first letter Freedman ever wrote went to the Quincy, Massachusetts Patriot Ledger back in 1969.
"Working as a summer attendant at the Foxboro State Hospital, he was appalled at the mistreatment of mentally ill patients - to the point that at night he would drown his conscience in alcohol, he said. "He said, he finally had to speak out and his letter eventually sparked an investigation by the state legislature."
It also resulted in the loss of his job until the state ordered new regulations to be written on the wrongful use of nasal-gastric tubes, and the V.A. reinstated Freedman's job.