Letter: Our county can do much better

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Editor,

Much has been said and written recently regarding the dogs left in the frigid and dangerous cold in Arcadia. Presumably, the owner is a “former veterinarian,” who frankly should know better, in my opinion – and the current Indiana code does not question the bad decision of this owner. Therefore, Hamilton County law enforcement must adhere to the current law and ordinances. I understand that – to a point.

The record-breaking temperatures we have endured call for more than “following the law,” but also must address moral and humane issues. It is within a human being’s right to stand out in the frigid cold temperatures, but sometimes the homeless and helpless need to be sheltered by law enforcement if necessary. The alternative could be frostbite or death. And the “igloo” shelters? Hardly appropriate. Fresh water – how long does it take water to freeze in those temps? We all know the answers.

So, where do we go from here? For many years in our nation’s history, some very wrong and immoral activities were within the law. Child labor. Discrimination and slavery. No right to vote for women or those of another color. How did we address these issues? The laws were changed. I believe, as many others believe, that it is time for Hamilton County to review and upgrade law enforcement mandates regarding the humane care of both pets and livestock in our county. It is amazing to me that Marion County has stricter humane ordinances than our county. I am not surprised that the state has taken a lax stance on these issues, but our county can do much better, in my opinion.

In recent conversation with a Hamilton County elected official, I feel hopeful that there is a strong relationship between county officials and the Humane Society for Hamilton County, and I look forward to real changes for those who cannot speak for themselves. As President Abraham Lincoln advised us, “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

Sharon McMahon, Noblesville

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