Open the pages of any newspaper, and you’ll doubtless find article after article of human suffering. From crimes and neglect to wars and natural disasters, people almost constantly find themselves in a state of pain.
Yet for every agony that humanity undergoes, we should recall that we aren’t the only ones who share those sad experiences. Animals have their own measure of suffering.
I’m not just talking about natural indignities. Animals often find themselves the targets of pain produced by humans, the higher (and sometimes much crueler) species.
That seems a clear enough example of abuse if there ever was one. But Rusty’s travails didn’t stop there.
The poor canine had an injury to his leg that had gone untreated for an extended period of time. That neglect had led to horrible consequences.
Richmond Animal Care and Control wrote on Facebook that “the leg had essentially rotted while still attached by the bone. We have spared our tender hearted audience the pictures of the leg itself, but for those of you that appreciate veterinary science, you can join our closed FB group … and see the images.”
Cringeworthy stuff, and not simply due to the icky nature of the wound, which led to the amputation of one of the dog’s legs. The thought that someone could leave a pet in a state like that turns the stomach.
And make no mistake about it: Rusty was a pet, not some half-feral stray. According to People magazine, Richmond Animal Care and Control discovered that his owner had ensured that Rusty couldn’t reproduce.
That isn’t a normal thing that you’d expect to find with an abused animal. “He was neutered, which is unique,” Christie Chipps Peters, the director of Richmond Animal Care and Control, told WTVR.
“It makes us think he obviously was someone’s dog. That’s why were are asking the public to help find who that person might be.”
The organization’s charitable arm, the RACC Foundation, has offered $1,000 for information that leads to a criminal conviction of the abuser. We can only hope that Rusty will get the justice due him.
Still, it’s worth noting that the owner’s crime was one of abandonment rather than intentional harm, the act of an individual fallen on hard times. Yet despite Rusty’s pain, the dog hasn’t let it warp his essential nature.
“Some of the dogs who have seen, or some of the animals, doesn’t even have to be dogs, that have seen the worst, it’s like they know,” Peters said. “It’s like they appreciate life so much more because they’ve seen so many bad things. He is the sweetest dog ever.”
And now that sweetest dog ever is up for adoption and will hopefully have a much happier life from here on out.
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