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The things we do to man's best friend shouldn't happen to a dog

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We hail the dog as "man's best friend", yet we hardly return the favor.

Thousands of dogs are killed each day in shelters after being dumped like so much trash, sometimes horribly neglected and abused before meeting their fate. The term "shelter" is redefined as the roof over the head of an animal under which it dies rather than a safe haven where it can live.

Puppy mills house countless breeding stock kept in horrific conditions. Those dogs spend their lives confined in cramped, dirty, wire cages without so much as a solid platform to stand on. They do not get walked or exercised. They do not get love, affection, beds, toys, treats, baths, grooming or veterinary care. Their lives are only of value as long as they can reproduce. Once they can no longer meet the quota, they may be shot, drowned or auctioned off to another puppy mill for a life of more of the same until their tired bodies can no longer bear the burden of such never ending abuse.

Laboratories conduct unspeakable acts upon dogs. Some are restrained and forced to inhale and ingest toxic materials long after common sense dictates that we already know the dangers of exposure. Still more dogs are used for experimental surgeries, usually without anesthesia or pain medication, suffering repeatedly and endlessly without being shown a shred of compassion until they die or are killed.

If this is how we treat our "best friends", it would be a step up for them to decline the position, yet they do not, largely because they can't. They suffer and die in silence because they have no voice.

It is up to those of us who are outraged by the status quo to make a difference, have our voices heard on their behalf and restore dignity to the friendship that has for so long now been taken advantage of.

Adopt or advocate for a shelter pet. Spay or neuter your animals. Contact your lawmakers and ask them to put an end to puppy mills and animal experimentation. Be the person your dog thinks you are for the benefit of those who are not so fortunate.

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