"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man,” Author unknown.


In my journey through life, I have discovered that you can tell a person's heart, their very soul by the way they treat the innocent. This does not mean that I am "judging" anyone. A person’s

interaction with a small child, watching someone cuddle a favorite pet, or seeing the smiles when kittens play, tells me that there is kindness in that person's heart. On the other hand when I see a dog unmercifully chained to a dog house, left in the freezing cold or the intense heat, tells me that there is not much happiness or love in that environment. Most likely there is

abuse of not only the pet but small children may be at risk.

During this last cold spell, it was hard for me not to think of those innocent dogs unmercifully tethered, tied, or chained to a crude form of shelter in a lonely, dark and cold back yard, with

a dirty pan of frozen, day old food, and rusty bucket of frozen water. It was very hard for me not to picture that in my mind because I know that it was happening. Just because they have fur

does not mean that they can stay warm.

The county and the State of Florida has animal laws that are meant to take care of abuse and cruel treatment of a domesticated pets. However, these laws are not enforced because it is left up to the opinion of the investigating officer as to whether an animal is, in fact, being

abused. There are laws pertaining to the distress of an animal. Seems to me that if a dog is chained, without any option of finding warm shelter, he is in distress. The law provides for an animal to have clean water and nourishing food. A frozen bucket of water and day old food in a dirty pan, to me, does not constitute clean water and nourishing food. In most cases these animals have not been seen by a vet nor are they up to date on their vaccinations.

We need a tethering law on the books here in Santa Rosa County, Florida.

Surrounding counties have already passed tethering laws that protect against leaving a dog chained without exercise, proper shelter and a nourishing diet. Escambia County has passed such a law.  The law states that the animal is

not to be tethered while it is sick, injured or in distress.  This issue has gone unaddressed for far too long. There is no sadder sight than these outcast,

forlorn, forgotten animals that are ignored by the family. Chaining is not only inhumane for dogs, but has taken a severe toll on this nation's children. There have been cases of children

killed or seriously injured by chained dogs across the country. Chained dogs, unsocialized by humans, can become very territorial of their tiny space, and any two year old child who

wanders into this space can be attacked and killed before adults can intervene.

It is up to caring and considerate people to improve the lives of these tethered or chained up dogs. Some may think that this is none of my business, but it is the business of all compassionate people to speak up when a living creature is abused, neglected or mistreated. 

And, by the way, it is just wrong to treat an animal in this manner.  Is a shameful when you have to remind people to be kind to innocent and helpless creatures. It seems your conscience would guide you to do what is right. 

NOTE: For those of you who want to bring up the fact that I should be speaking out against

abortion rather than wasting my time on the animals, I just want to remind you that it is those of us speaking out for the abused animals that speak the loudest against abortion and the abuse of children.


Alva-Jo Allen

Milton, Florida