It is heart month this month. I am asking you to think about your heart and about the terrible things we see even in this small town of Tumbler Ridge and use your heart to help those who cannot help themselves.

Yes, I am talking about animals. Alberta has just passed a law where penalties are much stiffer for those caught being cruel to animals. I think the same has to be done in BC. Many people get animals on a whim; something cute at the time. Most animals can live to be ten to fifteen years old, and that is the commitment you are looking at. Horses live a much longer life.

Many people acquire female dogs and do not get them spayed for numerous reasons. Down the road they often end up being given to whoever comes along. The $200 you would have to spend sure would save lots of puppies from going to the SPCA down the road. The responsibility thing again. Many dogs are left in the backyard for days on end with no contact or tied to a spot with a lead 20 feet long for days on end. Kennels or runs are also wonderful but pets need to be let out or have some form of human contact. It is not just a place you stick them to live.

Have you heard about the beatings, even with hockey sticks, that have taken place in town? Starvation is another form of cruelty many animals endure.

It only takes a bit of time out of your day to give a bit of love, and if you do not have that time please think seriously before bringing a pet into your family. If you find that you cannot do this, ask someone for help, for the animals should not have to endure the kinds of lives they are living because you do not have the time or finances to look after them properly.

I urge all of you people in TR to report any form of cruelty that you see so someone can investigate and have these animals taken away so that they can find a human being who has a heart. Many times we say nothing because we are a small town and know everyone, but if people can be this cruel to animals, what kind of people are they? They should not be allowed to keep hurting animals, and only we as concerned citizens can stop it.