I woke up this morning to the heartbreaking news that over 40 dogs were killed in an act of arson at Manchester Dogs’ Home. The alleged perpetrator is just fifteen.
It was a difficult article to read. I think animals are better than people in many ways; they’re honest, they’re not two-faced and they don’t scheme to bring harm to others. Not to mention fluffy, adorable and defenceless. I was horrified to find that a teenager could be so evil he would want to kill these animals – ‘our little brothers’ as Russians call them.
It’s the people’s reactions that restored my faith in humanity. Not only were people horrified, many weren’t content just being outraged on the internet. Volunteers ran into the shelter to rescue dogs and people have raised over £300,000 to help, not including individual pages such as this one and this one which at the time of writing raised close to £450,000. And that’s amazing, because people are willing to donate their money to a cause which brings them no personal benefit whatsoever.
To put it in context, I was brought up in a country where stray cats and dogs run rampant. I’ve seen people kick these animals and our first ever family cat was literally snatched out of the hands of teenagers who were taking it god knows where to do god knows what. I’ve seen ‘funny’ stories posted online about people scaring off Satanists where the sentence, ‘there was a cut up dead cat on the ground’ was added as an afterthought.
By contrast, we live in a country that is developed enough to have no-kill animal shelters, runs welfare checks and home visits on people to make sure they can provide a good environment for pets and has an organisation called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (founded almost 200 years ago and patronised by the Queen), which actively prosecutes people for mistreating animals. That’s amazing and we should be proud of Britain for having the compassion and determination to help those who can’t help themselves.
To donate to Manchester Dogs Home, visit their JustGiving page.