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  • Writer's pictureLogan Ginavan

Paws and Politics: How to and How NOT to Treat Animals

The blog post I have for you today was actually inspired by some news that has recently come to light. Just the other day, I woke up to the news that Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota, is a puppy murderer. This news, obviously, made me very sad about the unnecessary loss of life but also helped me to reflect on my own pets, and how happy I am to have them in my life. Now i'm sure that most of you have already seen this news, but I'll give you an excerpt from The Guardian.

"[...] Kristi Noem, a strong contender to be named running mate to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has managed to go one further – by admitting killing a dog of her own.

'Cricket was a wirehair pointer, about 14 months old,' the South Dakota governor writes in a new book, adding that the dog, a female, had an 'aggressive personality' and needed to be trained to be used for hunting pheasant.


'I hated that dog,' Noem writes, adding that Cricket had proved herself “untrainable”


'At that moment,' Noem says, 'I realised I had to put her down.'

Noem, who also represented her state in Congress for eight years, got her gun, then led Cricket to a gravel pit.

'It was not a pleasant job,' she writes, 'but it had to be done.' " [1]

As an animal lover and advocate for the welfare of all creatures, I was deeply troubled to learn about Governor Noem's decision. While I understand that pet ownership comes with its challenges and difficult decisions, I firmly believe that responsible pet ownership entails exhausting ALL available resources and alternatives before resorting to such drastic measures. Pets, like children, require patience, training, and understanding to thrive in a loving and nurturing environment. The decision to euthanize a young and otherwise healthy animal should never be taken lightly and should only be considered as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted. As public figures, elected officials have a responsibility to set an example for their constituents, including demonstrating true compassion and empathy towards animals.

Governor Noem's actions not only raise serious ethical questions but also highlight the importance of promoting responsible pet ownership and supporting initiatives that prioritize the welfare of animals in our communities. Instead of resorting to euthanasia, Governor Noem could have sought assistance from professional dog trainers or behaviorists to address her puppy's behavioral issues. By choosing euthanasia as a solution, Governor Noem missed an opportunity to educate the public on humane and compassionate pet care and to advocate for alternatives that prioritize the well-being of animals. Now I hear you saying, "Look. professional dog trainers and behaviorists cost money and take time. The Governor is a busy woman. This is what had to happen." Thats a good point, but I would like to raise two other options for people in South Dakota's capital, Pierre.

Pierre, South Dakota, Paws Animal Rescue

Pierre, South Dakota, Hopeless to Homes Animal Rescue

Humane Societies and other animal rescues will accept your pet if you can't handle it or are overwhelmed. In fact, all over the country, there are places and people who can take in animals to care for them, instead of shooting them to dump in a gravel pit. Like, right here in Lawrence, off of 19th and Harper, there lies a sanctuary of compassion, where the love for animals knows no bounds and every wagging tail and gentle purr is met with care and kindness. The Lawrence Humane Society stands as a beacon of hope for animals in need, offering refuge, rehabilitation, and a second chance at life for countless furry friends.

Founded with a mission to "alleviate suffering and eliminate cruelty to animals in addition to finding homes for stray and lost animals", the Lawrence Humane Society has been a pillar of strength and support for our community for decades. Through its dedication to the welfare of animals, the organization has become a cornerstone of compassion, embodying the values of empathy, integrity, and respect for all living beings that I wish we saw in all of our elected officials.

One of the hallmarks of the Lawrence Humane Society is its commitment to providing a lifeline for animals facing dire circumstances. Whether they are lost, abandoned, or surrendered by their owners, every animal that enters the shelter is greeted with open arms and given the opportunity to thrive. From the moment they step through the doors, they are met with warmth, compassion, and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

At the heart of the Lawrence Humane Society's mission is the belief that every animal deserves to live a life free from suffering and fear. To this end, the organization works to provide essential care and support to animals in need, including shelter, nourishment, medical treatment, and behavioral rehabilitation. Through its comprehensive programs and services, the Lawrence Humane Society strives to address the unique needs of each animal, ensuring that they receive the care and attention they deserve.

In addition to its lifesaving work within the shelter walls, the Lawrence Humane Society is deeply committed to serving the broader community. Through outreach initiatives, education programs, and community partnerships, the organization works to promote responsible pet ownership, prevent animal cruelty, and advocate for the welfare of all animals. By engaging with individuals and families throughout the community, the Lawrence Humane Society seeks to foster a culture of compassion and empathy towards animals, inspiring others to become champions for their welfare.

I am very proud to be able to say that I adopted my first fuzzy baby, Jellie, from the Lawrence Humane Society and have loved her ever since. I can almost hear my fellow cat people jumping through the screen asking for pictures, so I have put some of my favorite pictures of both of my cats, Jellie and Bean, below.

It's heartwarming to reflect on the incredible work being done by organizations like the Lawrence Humane Society and the dedicated individuals who devote their time and energy to making a difference in the lives of animals. As we celebrate the invaluable contributions of shelters and rescues, it's also important to acknowledge the challenges they face and the ongoing need for support from the community. From financial donations and volunteer efforts to advocating for policy changes and promoting responsible pet ownership, there are countless ways we can all contribute to the welfare of animals and help organizations like the Lawrence Humane Society continue their lifesaving work.

I encourage you to join me in expressing gratitude to the Lawrence Humane Society and other animal welfare organizations for their tireless dedication to the well-being of animals. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of animals and create a brighter future for all beings. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for your continued support of animal welfare initiatives. To learn more about how you can get involved or to make a donation to the Lawrence Humane Society, visit their website at And remember, every act of kindness, no matter how small, has the power to make a world of difference for animals in need. Together, we can build a more compassionate and caring society for all living beings. See you next week for another policy post.

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