Put Council in chains?

I couldn't be more disgusted with Council members and their endless so-called concerns about allowing the continued chaining of dogs. I moved here from Atlanta for many reasons, one being the endless amount of suffering by neglected dogs on chains that I was forced to watch in my neighborhood. Some Council members have the gall to say they wouldn't support the ban, and I have to ask: "How would you feel being on a 15-foot chain for 24 hours a day?"

It is cruel and torturous to leave thinking and feeling pack animals alone at the end of a chain to live a life of solitary confinement. As for people being too poor to put up a fence—if they don't have the money to put up a fence, then they also don't have the money to get their dog fixed, give it monthly flea, tick and heartworm medicine, wash it, train it or feed it good food.

We've chosen these sweet creatures to live with us. Why do we have to watch them suffer because some [jerk] decided on a whim that they wanted a dog, then didn't want to take the time to train it to be a member of their family? I've seen what happens. They shove their dog into a lonely corner of the yard and never speak to it again; then it dies after being attacked by roaming strays it couldn't escape, or gets impregnated over and over again since there is no fenced yard, or suffers slowly with heartworms. These so-called dog owners shouldn't have a dog, period — especially if they can't afford to properly care for it.

Who has the right to subject a sentient life to such torture? Mrs. Bellamy's line about protecting the greater neighborhood is clichéd garbage; the greater neighborhood needs to be protected from allowing these types of cruelties to continue. The greater neighborhood needs to be protected from the type of people who would subject their own chosen pets to a miserable existence.

The answer to this problem is simple: Make it against the law to tether, and then fine people who don't comply. This alone will bring in the money to pay for more animal-control officers and dissuade improper dog ownership. Too often, "There's not enough money in the budget to do anything" means not actually having to do anything. Any cop on patrol can also plainly see a violation and write a ticket. If there is a problem large enough to merit the Council's attention, it seems like an extra revenue stream from merely doing the right thing would be just the "ticket" to repair it.

Do the right thing and make this a kind place to live.

—  Cynthia Etheridge

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34 thoughts on “Put Council in chains?

  1. John Smolkin

    Cynthia, while we are at it, let’s go all the way to banning cruelty to animals. Ban “meat”. Many of us shop at our markets and buy neatly packaged “meat” and take it home and eat it. We forget that this is actually a dead animal body part. The cow or pig was raised to be killed in a slaughter house (what a fitting term), cutup, and sold as “meat” to be consumed by cold hearted heathen humans.

    Ban the sale of, and consumption of, meat in Asheville!

  2. Dionysis

    Equating dogs (domesticated to serve as human companions, as are cats) to livestock raised for food is erroneous to say the least. As for the general notion of “banning cruelty to animals” the answer should be ’emphatically yes’. That farm animals are raised for human consumption is one thing (and arguably bad enough as it is, at least to many) but that does not mean that these animals shouldn’t be afforded something other than confinement, abuse and misery as they await their demise.

    Personally, if I had the power to round up everyone that abuses animals and render the same treatment to them, I would not hesistate. Of course, one cannot do to another human what is allowed to be done to the other creatures with which we share this planet. Too bad, since only humans have the ability to purposely abuse other species (as well as other humans).

  3. John Smolkin

    “Livestock” is cultural, Dionysis. In many Asian countries, dogs and cats are considered livestock. They are killed, cut up, and sold in markets as food for heathen humans. In France, grasshoppers, frogs, snails, and ants are eaten. During famines, rats and mice have been eaten. Here in this country, heathen humans consider cows, pigs, goats and sheep to be “livestock” to be killed, cut up, and sold as “food”. Why even baby cows and baby sheep are killed and served as “veal” and such for the twisted palates of the wealthy humans.

    So you see, equating dogs and cats with cows and pigs is not a different matter. It just depends on what culture you are living in, and what is considered “good tasting”.

    I think ALL animals should be treated humanely, including those animals unlucky enough to be labeled “food animals” by some of us. Any one with a heart who searches their soul can see I am right about this. We are so used to eating what the culture has ordained that we need to think about what it is we’re eating, and how it got to our plates. If you live on a farm, the “pork” on your plate was the result of a farmer beating a pig in the head until it stopped screaming in pain and fright and succumbed to it’s wounds. Then was hung upside down, gutted and bled, then cut up.

    Let us all “be good” as ET was fond of saying, and treat animals humanely. ALL animals.

  4. Dionysis

    “I think ALL animals should be treated humanely, including those animals unlucky enough to be labeled “food animals” by some of us….

    Let us all “be good” as ET was fond of saying, and treat animals humanely. ALL animals.”

    I could not possibly agree more.

  5. Betty Cloer Wallace

    In addition to these “food animal” issues, where does human use of animal “skins” fit into all this? Leather shoes, belts, gloves, car seats, chairs, bar stools, sports equipment…..?

  6. John Smolkin

    Betty, good point. Folks also need to think about this. I do, whenever possible, avoid cow skin. My wallet is a quart sized plastic baggie. My belt is a military cloth web with brass buckle. I do have to sometimes compromise on shoes, but do so reluctantly. I would never buy a car with leather seats when cloth does just fine. I think we should all try not to use “animal” products whenever possible.

    Ironically, animals are better Christians than most of us humans could possibly hope to. Because animals do not have self-centered egos to get in the way, animals act in accord with nature. Pets are especially sweet with their unconditional love. I cannot imagine life without a dog. A friend claims beer is proof God loves man. I say it is the dog!

  7. Piffy!

    [b]”Ban the sale of, and consumption of, meat in Asheville! “[/b]

    Is this the same guy clamoring for smaller government and railing against “socialist, big government” anti-smoking legislation in other threads?

  8. John Smolkin

    PFK, life just isn’t fair is it? Why can’t people just fit into tight little boxes and be more predictable? -:)

  9. xvelouria

    Brilliant letter!!! great points.

    I couldn’t agree more. Wake up, City Council.

  10. John Smolkin

    PFK, I see no similarity between my desire to ban the cruelty of meat consumption and government intrusion into individuals rights of citizens. My point is that meat is cruel, and we should ban it. NOT that the government should ban it. Cant you see the difference?!?

    Liberals like you, PFK, who are still rebelling against the system, want government to do everything for them. But that is unAmerican. Banning cigarettes is nearly fascism, but saving Christian animals is God’s work–and therefore worthy of our Government’s effort.

    You see, one day, when you’re old enough, you will see that your opinions need not be consistent to anything resembling logic. You can just natter on without rhyme or reason, and never even notice! Like me!

  11. dhalgren999

    John “the namvet” smolkin! Why the sympathy for the animals, but none for the thousands of Iraqis murdered by “W”? Your incoherence is troubling.

  12. Jorge Gonzalas

    Asheville Cannot or rather should not even consider doing what this letter tries to suggest, Animals are not people too.Contrary to the cute bumper stickers. If you folks downtown continue to live and would have everyone, be controlled by the Local Goverment, have even more control over pets, One must already have them “Altered” really nice way of saying casterated, to adopt it is a must, I went to adopt a pup last week, and was told the dog had to be altered/Micro chipped/ and the only thing that made any sense a series of shots, I declined and an animal Died. as I went to save a dog, make them my buddy, but do not support Goverment Micro chipping Period not to mention the un real practice of mandatory castration.. ever wonder what Asheville growing problem will be, It is amazing to me that such things are mandatory and you all continue to try for for Goverment(This means you/few active people) requirements of leash laws or dog tie outs, as The weak pointed letter states, how would you like to be stake on a 15 foot chain, I would not but fact is. That makes for a 30′ circle and is FAR bigger than the area that most people allow for in their homes for such animals..Tha crime is when folks, deside to not ineract with their animal. and how can you say when that happens, to fine a line. I feel that as an American, The Goverment should have as little effect in my life as possible. Thats why my family served(Not in Iraq or Nam) to have freedom in OUR Country, and you who have never done anything to truly contribute to that, want to make pathetic rules. for animals that are ..simply animals, If you love them be a witness through, your actions, as It is the only way that is really a fair way to ask anything from us who have lived here a while. and made this great town and area avaliable. to have thoughts that are considered..This one is so intrusive on personal freedoms , It baffels me as to your ignorance. If you see a dog never off a leash I under stand, make some calls, but to try and ban a 15 foot leash for people who know how/when to use one is insane..

  13. Dionysis

    You certainly seemed worked up by this topic, Jorge. Let’s break it down a bit.

    First, while you’re correct that “animals are not people,” people are animals, however, and share an awful lot of DNA with them; in the case of chimpanzees, it’s 96%!

    You are to be applauded for wanting to adopt a pet. But your description of why you didn’t is puzzling. You don’t state where you went to adopt a pet, but there is no legal requirement to microchip a pet. It’s a darned good idea to do so, as anyone that has gotten his or her lost pet returned because of the chip can tell you. And the local humane society only charges $10 for one.

    As for your anger over required sterilization, surely you’re aware that there are unknown millions of homeless dogs and cats in this country. Millions are killed every day by euthanasia; unknown millions more suffer disease, starvation, injuries and worse. They have a short and miserable life. To NOT have a pet ‘fixed’ is the height of irresponsibility, unless you plan on taking care of every puppy or kitten ever sired or birthed by your dog or cat.

    In spite of your defense of chaining dogs, it remains a disgraceful way to treat a dog. For a short period, that’s fine. But to leave a dog chained all day, all night, regardless of whether the owner ‘interacts’ with it, is wrong. Period.

    That “your family served” really has nothing to do with this subject, other than it evidently makes you feel that if you don’t like a law or regulation, then others are impinging upon your ‘freedoms’ for which they served.

    You are correct in that love of animals should be shown through “your action.” That action should include responsibility to do what you can to help mitigate the explosion of homeless domestic animals. That means setting aside some silly macho fear of “castration” and getting the animal neutered.

    You have the freedom to accept the responsibility that accompanies the adoption of a pet or not. You’re quite free to make that decision.

  14. John Smolkin

    The Divine lives within all creatures. Only humans have the ego to think they can run contrary to nature’s laws. Animal slaughter and consumption, and the subsequent blind eye to the idiocy of the practice, is exactly what is wrong with us as humans. When we have no feelings for fellow living creatures, especially those with nervous systems and are warm-blooded like us, we diminish ourselves and offspring of the Divine.

    Meat eating is cruel. It should be abolished. Government does not allow the killing and process of other humans for consumption. The consumption of dead animal body parts comes very close to that.

    Be good, be kind. Love animals, don’t kill and eat them!

  15. nuvue

    I do not like chaining dogs either, but sometimes it may be needed. Try building a fence in your yard in a historical area….like Montford. Govt. really intervenes on your property rights then. I also don’t want dogs running loose. If the law is passed there needs to be some give and take with the individual situations.

  16. bobaloo

    “but saving Christian animals is God’s work–and therefore worthy of our Government’s effort.”

    Christian animals? Then only the animals that have accepted Christ into their hearts. Burn the heathen animals!

  17. travelah

    Saving “Christian animals” is a somewhat bizarre notion since in Christian theology, Abraham fed the LORD veal on the plains of Mamre. Don’t forget the millions of lambs for the Paschal sacrifices.

  18. John Smolkin

    Traveler, did Jesus (the Saint Christianity is modeled after) approve of everything in the Jewish Torah (Old Testament)? NO. He did not. In fact he vehemently objected to it in several areas. He was chided by the priests for healing on the Sabbath. Jesus replied that the Sabbath was made for man, and continued to heal. The Torah says “an eye for an eye” in revenge if one is “wronged”. Christ plainly declared that that was wrong. That one should forgive those who do you wrong. If you are struck on the cheek, turn and offer the other. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as you love your own self.

    So your quotes from the Torah about killing animals for sacrifice do not necessarily translate to the “new” Christian religion. In fact, many who Know Christ, Know Him/Her as Love Incarnate. A Love so sweeping, compassion is extended to all living beings, including the animals unlucky enough to be declared “food animals” in our culture.

    By the way Traveler,do you yourself kill, bleed, gut, and cutup the animals you eat? Or do you just go to the market and pay for killed dead animal body parts neatly packaged? Curious. I’ll bet you are just a buyer who doesn’t think much about how the animal body part got in that shrink wrapped package. You just slake your cultural conditioned, and perverted, palate with the dead animal body part out of habit…and non-thinking.

    Think about it. If you yourself are not willing to do the killing and “processing” yourself, then you should not contribute to the brutal, and perverted, practice of killing and eating innocent animals.

  19. travelah

    Having spent my formative years on a mostly self sufficient farm, I am quite familiar with killing and dressing livestock for food. Of course these things will not register in your airtight mind.

  20. John

    Being an Omnivore, I’ve caught, cleaned and cooked my own food. Eating animals is perfectly natural. Its unnatural not to.

  21. John A. Smolkin

    Everything registers in my mind traveler, but that doesn’t mean I’ll come over to your point of view. Your comment does surprise me, but I am glad you at least know where the “meat” is coming from. So I ask you this. How can you eat the remains of an animal you yourself heard screaming in pain, and you yourself witnessed dying? I can see why it may not prick your conscience as a child, especially if mom and dad were OK with the killing. But you are an adult now. Perhaps I am too sensitive in your airtight mind, but I cannot, and do not, eat dead animal body parts.

    We do not need to eat animal body parts to be healthy. In fact, the over-consumption if “meat” in our culture is a primary cause of ill health, including cancer and heart disease.

  22. John A. Smolkin

    John, in Asia, dogs and cats are considered “food animals”. Are you OK with that being “natural”? What neanderthals eat is dependent on which culture they hale from. If you won’t kill your own red “meat”, then you are a hypocrite. if you will, then you are a neanderthal. Heck, some people kill and kill other people. Is that “natural”? i don’t think so.

  23. Piffy!

    [b]”We do not need to eat animal body parts to be healthy. In fact, the over-consumption if “meat” in our culture is a primary cause of ill health, including cancer and heart disease. “[/b]

    Very not true.

    By the way: how does an animal become “Christian”, John A. Smolkin?

  24. John

    This whole thing about meat being bad for you or that we are not meant to eat is it pure bunk used to justify a lifestyle. That lifestyle is fine if you choose, but telling others that meat is murder is bunk. Our digestive track has enzymes just to digest meat. Just don’t eat too much.

  25. John A. Smolkin

    “Very not true. By the way: how does an animal become “Christian.” -PFK

    Got anything to back up that statement up PFK? Here’s mine:

    “Large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters. In the United States, researchers studied Seventh-day Adventists, a religious group that is remarkable because, although nearly all members avoid tobacco and alcohol and follow generally healthful lifestyles, about half of the Adventist population is vegetarian, while the other half consumes modest amounts of meat. This fact allowed scientists to separate the effects of eating meat from other factors. Overall, these studies showed significant reductions in cancer risk among those who avoided meat. In contrast, Harvard studies showed that daily meat eaters have approximately three times the colon cancer risk, compared to those who rarely eat meat.”
    -The Cancer Project

    By the way, the issue isn’t whether an animal is “Christian” or not. The issue is, do people of compassion and “heart” contribute to the suffering of, and consumption of animals. The answer is that most people who have a heart, do not eat dead animal parts.

    But anyone who knows your style of posting knows you would say you are being “sarcastic”. What a clever way to avoid taking responsibility for your own words, huh? -:)

  26. Betty Cloer Wallace

    I came in from my garden and cornfield this afternoon after ruthlessly and shamelessly snuffing the life out of several dozen cabbage worms and applying nearly an entire can of Wasp & Hornet Spray to two hornet nests filled with vicious hornets (and their larvae) that had taken over a corner of my cornfield.

    After two painful hornet stings and trips to the pharmacy for ointment and other remedies, as well as missing dinner, I did consider that I should have grilled and eaten the entire nest of cabbage worms since I’d read that other cultures consider them a tasty form of significant protein.

    I decided, however, that I would just go to bed hungry and worry about eating and getting revenge tomorrow.

    Question: How would I have known whether or not those animals (cabbage worms and hornets and hornet pupae that I killed today) were “Christian” and to whom would it matter that I had killed them? Was that a sin?

  27. Betty Cloer Wallace

    And by the way, my favorite hound dog Elvis got stung, too, and he is very unhappy.

  28. John A. Smolkin

    Betty, perhaps you should’ve eaten the worms and your dog. That way you would’ve fit right in with Cambodians and the tree people of New Guinea.

    The comment about animals and Christians is the observation that dogs, in particular, have unconditional love. Christ and Buddha both taught that that is the way we should be also. But alas, we are self-centered. Animals are not. They are in accord with nature. We are not. So it is ironic that we kill and eat them when they are usually our spiritual betters.

  29. John

    I choose to have pets and I choose to have meat. There is no conflict there. I live in reality, not some theoretical world were everything has to have a perfect symmetry. Some hypocrisy is unavoidable in the real world. Limiting it is just fine.

  30. John A. Smolkin

    John, the reality is that cultural tastes dictate what animals are designated “food animals”. Of course, here in the US, they are cows, pigs, sheep, baby sheep, baby cows. If you venture down to Louisianna, you may find some of them eat alligators and snakes.

    In Asia, most of the countries consider dogs and cats “food animals”. That is unthinkable to most Americans. But no big deal there.

    In France, snails, frogs, grasshoppers, and ants are considered food animals, at least by some. In Russia, fish eggs, “roe”, “caviar”.

    So you see, it depends on where you live. If you lived in Vietnam or Cambodia, you’d have to guard your dog day and night, lest the poor fella be stolen, killed, bled, cut up, then eaten.

    In some parts of the world, human beings are still eaten. But we won’t detail here. Afterall, that comes too close doesn’t it? -:)

  31. John

    I can easily draw the line between humans and other animals. Just like every other animal on the planet singles themselves out. I have no moral dilemma there. Humans are animals too. Why are we so special that we must deny our most basic components and others mustn’t.

  32. Father Luke

    Dogs are not ornaments, kept
    at the end of a chain like a watch.

    They just aren’t.

    – –
    Father Luke

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