Report all animal abuse

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Everybody loves a cute puppy, but unfortunately that same love does not always extend to a dog once it grows old and develops health problems.

Last Friday’s incident involving two hound dogs abandoned in a tiny wooden box in the woods demonstrates the problem of animal cruelty in rural parts of the county.

Shelby County’s animal control officer Donald Kendrick has dozens of photographs that serve as evidence of the nightmarish circumstances some animals in the county face.

Like Kendrick said, some people in the county still

consider animals disposable objects.

Kendrick, a lifelong Shelby County resident, spends his days responding to calls of sick dogs, feral hogs and cows and diseased horses. He does his best to rescue these animals and to prevent future animal cruelty and neglect.

But Kendrick is no disillusioned hippy with his head stuck in the counterculture of the 1960s. Kendrick is an honest, hardworking man with a big heart.

Consider Betty Lou and Virgil McDonald, who helped rescue one of the dogs that survived from the box abandonment last week. Betty Lou’s rough hands of 64 years show the effects of picking cotton as a young girl.

But, Betty Lou remains as compassionate about animals as anybody. A hard life has not calloused her heart.

Nor have hundreds of rescue calls calloused Kendrick’s heart.

Last year, Kendrick rescued 700 dogs throughout the county. These animals are lucky to have Kendrick and services such as the Shelby County Humane Society and animal shelter.

The shelter features space for 300 dogs and residents can drop off an animal 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Please help erase animal cruelty in the county by reporting animal abuse