Cyprus Mail

How we treat our creatures is a showcase of what we are

The question arises every summer “Why do people keep dogs if they can’t treat them properly?” With regard to Eve Polycarpou’s letter (Sunday Mail August 18th), Limassol is no better (or should that be worse?) than Nicosia.
It is hard to get to sleep some nights in my area for the depressed howling of dogs. One starts a mournful cry and a full operatic rendition of misery picks up in sympathy. Part of the problem is that some are kept chained or in small spaces and never walked. Others, I have to add, have great homes. Cyprus is not alone in mistreating dogs.
In her column in The Irish Times, Hilary Fannin wrote about a trip to Spain in which she described ‘mad-eyed’ dogs chained up protecting property. The same happens here in industrial estates as well as private homes.
As the ‘animal police’ will not be formed, is it not possible for some capable people to be given a licence to do the job instead? Surely animal welfare folk could approach the owners of badly treated animals and, with authority, ask them to do better. They should be able to report such canine ‘crimes’ to a department that could, at least, send a letter with an official stamp on it with the threat of court procedures if the requests are not dealt with. This ‘desk’ could be manned by animal welfare volunteers.
Far -fetched? Perhaps, but this has been going on for years and in the cruel heat of summer animals have enough difficulty staying hydrated when left outside without sadistic carelessness adding to their misery. Gone are the days when people could plead ignorance. May I add a word here for all the decent folk in Cyprus who do so much and often at their own expense for animals of all sorts.
Last month Cyprus’s disgraceful trapping of birds received space in the National Geographic which has a world audience. We are, sadly, achieving a reputation for failure in many areas. How we treat our creatures is a showcase of what we are and how far our empathy for them indicates advanced, civilized sensitivity. Sadism should not be tolerated, for that is what Ms Polycarpou described.

Colette Ni Reamonn Ioannidou, Nicosia

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