This is a response to the recent editorial in the Grapevine, Dogs Get Better Treatment then Homeless People.” If research had been done instead of sensationalizating a few programs it would be obvious that this is no true. Have you ever driven down Martin Luther King Blvd. or St Clair Avenue and seen the packs of homeless dogs running and getting hit by cars? Or how about the half-starved dog tied on a chain to short to shelter itself from the heat or cold? To assume we treat these poor creatures better then the homeless is absurd. I have worked with homeless and I participate in animal rescue and there is no comparison. One huge difference is the animal cannot speak or defend it self and if it does it is destroyed. Homeless people have a voice and they do have advocates. Animals do not have that among their own species. I feel it is no ones right to tell me where I should march or donate time or money. Perhaps people should stop blaming animals for everything. We have taken their homes our cities we kill them relentlessly on the highways so please do not compare them to homeless people. Homeless people do need help and a voice and we definitely need to act in this area. But it only aliments may when we are told that we spend too much on this or that and somehow it should be designated for people, after all who is to say which species is the more developed?
Vickie L. Smith
Editor’s Reply: You need to re-read the Editorial from the last issue. The point was not that dogs are not in need of help. The point was that our priorities in this country are backwards when dogs and cats have better facilities than those built to serve humans. We hate to break the bad news to you, but people, governments and society already tell you who and what you can donate your time and money. All non-profits are regulated, and everyone from the United Way to the IRS tells you who you can donate your money to.
Published in the Homeless Grapevine, Cleveland Ohio July 2002 Issue 55