Listen to this article

By KRISTINA PHELAN

Ford County Record columnist

I am an animal lover. I gravitate toward all creatures and usually turn into one of those ridiculous adults who talks to animals in a high baby voice.

As a young girl, I remember going to an animal shelter with my parents. I was overcome with emotion. I understood the gravity of what would happen if these animals weren’t adopted, and my little heart was inconsolable — so much so that my parents would not allow me to go back to the animal shelter.

Now, I am surrounded by animals: furry four-legged ones, waddling two-legged ones, and all sorts of natural friends who grace our small slice of heaven. I have passed on this love for animals to my youngest, who has many times befriended multiple frogs, bugs and rabbits on our property.

Recently, a dog by the name of Bear was found barely alive and had suffered much abuse. The community quickly rallied around the animal and showed their support in concern, phone calls, prayers and dollars. Hundreds of people opened up their wallets and gave a hard-earned $20,000-plus toward Bear’s rising vet bills.

Don’t get me wrong. The abuse that this animal endured is horrible. Unthinkable.

However, I was taken back by the concern of the community. So many people were upset and became adamant about the wrong being righted in this case. There was so much emotion behind the comments on social media.

But what about others in need in our lives?

What about the single mom who is barely making ends meet? What about the homeless veteran who you pass in the big city? What about the elderly couple who can barely survive on their minimal Social Security? What about the foster child who has endured both physical and mental abuse and neglect?

As a whole, do we care more about an abused animal than a human being? Is it easier to care for a life that can’t speak for itself? Are we quicker to come to the rescue of an animal rather than we are those in our community who need the same love, support and concern? Are we more apt to open our wallets for an animal than open our wallets at church? Do we feel the same amount of emotion for those hurting in our community who we pass by all of the time? Are we willing to fight for the rights of others who choose not to speak up for themselves?

Again, I am not downgrading Bear’s journey to restoration or those who have been involved in it. I am just questioning if the same humanitarian efforts are being made for our fellow man.

It is a question for all of us to consider, myself included.