It upsets me very much seeing the horses whipped so viciously at the races. This past Belmont race, the third lap of the “Triple Crown”, is a perfect example. The horses were whipped coming down the stretch, for what? Money and fame. We know some of these horses were not fresh and were tired. It is common knowledge that there is not enough time for the horses to rest between the Preakness and the grueling 1 & 1/2 mile Belmont, and by pushing them to run even harder and longer is just cruel and inhumane. As it turned out California Chrome was injured at the starting gate and yet he was still whipped. Nobody but the jockey knew, and he still used the whip viciously. I think it is shameful and incomprehensible that this should be allowed. I have written before about abuse to animals and how we should support the ASPCA, but nothing to date has been done about the whipping of horses. Even the carriage horses situation has been put on the back burner, by the new mayor of NYC. Originally he said the carriage horses would be eliminated as his first order of business. He caved to pressure. Why PETA has not been able to curtail the blatant cruelty to horses on the race track is a mystery. The only explanation, once again, is economics and political pressure. This blatant use of the whip on a horse is such a poor example for our children to see. Instead, we should be teaching our children to treat all animals with love, kindness and respect. Whips should be banned, period.
The most difficult time for a pet owner is when to decide to humanely euthanize their beloved pet. The veterinarians job is to diagnose and successfully treat any and all diseases a pet may have. We are not always successful as 25% of all pets die or are humanely euthanized because of cancer. Although many cancers are treatable either by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation etc. there still comes a time when a decision has to be made. Only sometimes can a veterinarian recommend euthanasia as an only choice because of the severity of the condition or injury. There are many drugs to keep a pet out of pain but that is not always enough. The quality of life must be considered and there are criteria that can be used to estimate the quality of life, such as: 1.Happiness: does your pet want to play or seem to enjoy life and respond to your presence? 2.Pain: does your pet cry or moan, shake or t remble? Does he/she pant even when resting? 3.Appetite: Is your pet eating and shows interest in treats and snacks? Is there severe weight loss? 4.Water Consumption: Does your pet drink an adequate amount of water and urinate normally? 5.Mobility: Can your pet move reasonably normal and be somewhat active, even with medication? Or does he/she lay in one place? Can your pet get up and lie down without help? 6.Mental Status: Are there more good days than bad or does your pet seem depressed all the time and not have any energy or desire to be part of the family like before? 7.Hygiene: Does your pet have the ability to defecate and urinate away from where he/she sleeps? These are some guidelines to help the pet owner make the difficult and emotional decision of humane euthanasia. In my many years of clinical practice it is something you never get used to. The love of an animal is genuine and they deserv e careful consideration of the above criteria before such a serious final decision is made.
The ASPCA was founded in 1866 after its founder, Henry Bergh, saw a cruel carriage driver beating his horse. Now, over 140 years later, the ASPCA is still the main organization in the animal welfare cause. The following is a reprint of an email I received from them titled: “Keep Horses Off the Killing Floor”.
“Horses are our pets, our workmates, our sport companions, our friends. They helped build our nation. They’re not raised to be food because we don’t eat them. So how is that more than 150,000 U.S. horses—retired racers to show ponies to wild mustangs—get sent abroad to slaughter every year? And with a staggering 80% of Americans opposed to horse slaughter, how is it possible that this gruesome industry hasn’t yet been banned nationwide? Horse slaughter is barbaric and cruel—it should never be confused with humane euthanasia. The ASPCA is fighting this grisly industry, and countless other forms of animal cruelty, but we can’t do it without your help. DONATE NOW. Our immediate task is to block the resumption of U.S. horse slaughter. We made great progress last Thursday (May 22, 2014) when language to renew the ban on using tax dollars to fund horse meat inspections cleared its first hurdle by passing the Senate Appropriations Committee. But there’s more work to do. The ASPCA is pushing for the passage of the SAFE Act, a bill that will ban horse slaughter in all 50 states as well as ban export of our horses to other countries for slaughter. Until the U.S. enacts a permanent, nationwide ban on horse slaughter, the ASPCA will be there to fight for horses. Please consider donating to the ASPCA to support our efforts to end horse slaughter and protect other companion animals from lives of suffering and abuse.”
The ASPCA is located at 424 East 92 St. New York City, New York 10128. Their phone # is 212-876-7700. To learn more go to www.aspca.org