Love your animals as humanly as possible

I love animals. They are so pure and amazing and I am so glad they are on this earth. There are very few animals I don’t find to be adorable. Last week on the 20th was national “love your pet day,” and I was inspired to talk about that.

I have one dog. She has been my only pet since I was in second grade, and I can’t imagine what it was like without her. She is a cocker spaniel and poodle mix, and her name is Molly. She is so funny and brings me so much joy. Although, she seems to be going through a moody teenager phase, and never wants to cuddle unfortunately.

She loves food and squeaky toys, but I think she might like chasing the rabbit that lives in our bushes more. Molly thinks she’s pretty tough, but she’ll never catch that bunny. Sometimes I think she believes she’s a Doberman, but in actuality is only 12 pounds.

About a year ago, I would have said I was 100-percent a dog person. And then my boyfriend got a cat, who just wandered into his yard out in the country one day and decided to stay. His family took her in and cared for her. And then she had babies, and her babies had babies, and now there are 12 cats and I love them all as my own.

I had never really been around cats before, but they are cute, comical little animals. Some of them want to play and hit you with their little paws and bite your toes, and some of them are content to be a little ragdoll and be carried around any which way. One of them, his name is Oliver, will cuddle with you all day if you let him. Others are more rambunctious, and insist on messing with the dog.

Our pets should be loved as much as humanly possible, maybe even spoiled a little bit. But sadly there are pets out there that are not loved, that are abused and hurt. It makes me so sad to think about, but we need to talk about it and raise awareness. There are so many animals who are being abandoned, don’t have homes and what they need.

About 6.5 million companion animals are entered into a shelter every year in the U.S., and 100 million animals each year are killed in laboratories from being tested on for clothing, cosmetics, medications and many other things.

I was reading the other day about one of the current winter Olympians, who was done with his events and went to explore the country a bit. He found a dog farm, one of 17,000 in the country. Basically what happens is stray dogs, or sometimes even peoples’ pets, are rounded up and kept outside in the cold, shoved in cages and are raised as food.

I know that can be part of North Korean culture, but culture shouldn’t be an excuse for animal cruelty.

Another situation that breaks my heart are fox fur farms. I have never been in contact with a fox, but they are beautiful, sweet animals and I love them. I follow a woman on social media who has two pet foxes that she rescued from fur farms. Foxes have similar personalities to dogs, but they are wild animals, so if you are looking for a fox as a pet, do your research.

Thankfully, there are organizations that work to rescue animals and save them from cruel conditions. There are rescues all over the world that people can get involved in or donate to.

If you know of animals being abused or neglected, there are things anyone can do to help. The SPCA, local humane society, or even the police can be called to stop it. Anyone can help and make a difference in the life of an animal. I hope for a world where animal abuse is stopped. Our pets, as well as wild animals, deserve to be loved and to be safe.

Maddy Daniels is a sophomore at Hillsboro High.