Don’t treat them like dogs — treat them better

Today is National Dog Day.

The day is meant to “celebrate all breeds, pure and mixed, and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, either from public shelters, rescues and pure breed rescues,” according to “National Dog Day honors family dogs and dogs that work selflessly to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day — for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.”

Now we’re learning more and more about their innate ability to recognize everything from the presence of certain cancers to the onset of seizures. Who knows what other revelations about our four-legged best friends may soon come about?

Every day there are tens of thousands of dogs nationwide that need a forever home. If you need a companion, please first consider a rescue dog (or cat). Check out the Wilmington Area Humane Society and the Clinton County Humane Society.

There are thousands more that are neglected or otherwise mistreated that most of us aren’t aware of. We, a dog’s humans, are everything to a little wet-nosed furball. It took humans to domesticate dogs, but it also takes humans to mistreat them. And to make a “bad dog.”

We all need to do our part not only to better educate people about the care of dogs, but we must commit the resources to helping them, and to ensuring humane treatment — and to working toward harsher punishment to those who abuse dogs or any other animals.