While wallets are being opened for Bear, many people in our community struggle

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.
 

Categories (4):News, Columns, Other, Opinions

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risabear wrote on May 18, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Wow!  Great for all of us to keep in mind.  There is room to take care of even the smallest of creatures, but if we lose sight of our fellow humans we are losing an integral part of who we are and should be.

jkl1986 wrote on May 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

"Again, I am not downgrading Bear’s journey to restoration or those who have been involved in it.

That's exactly what you're doing though. 

Why write an article that casually undermines people compassion toward an animal and their want to help save his life? Is your goal to make people feel bad about donating money to save a dogs life? Because if it was actually about you genuinely wanting to raise awareness about these other issues you site so people might donate to them, then the article should read "Communities compellingly deep compassion for an animals struggle could spark more movement in the community." If it even mentioned Bear at all.

How about instead of writing a passive aggressive article about how you think people should donate to more "admirable or meaningful" causes, you actually do something about it yourself. At least those people put forth an effort to actually help out. What did you do? What cause did you donate to? Who did you help out? How about instead of insinuating people donated to the wrong cause, you commend them for caring enough to donate at all?

allergic to stupid wrote on May 19, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Nice judgment call. People are able to help themselves if they want to. Bear could not. Besides that, its not your call what people do with their money. 

OCD1970 wrote on May 20, 2016 at 1:05 pm

I really can't believe this was put in the Paxton Record after so many stood up to help Bear. First of, people struggling are NOT hanging off a bridge on there toes with their mouth taped shut clinging to life. i live in Paxton and people are serious about their dogs, and this article is not getting the Paxton Record any brownie points. A dog can not talk, can't go find a job, and has to live where others choose for them. So Yes, i would help an animal before a person 99% of the time. Sad to say that it's being said to all the great people who helped save this little guy that they should've gave money to others. This was a very poor article and should not have been put in the paper! I will always stand with the animals. You can ask my dog after he eats his steak tonight!

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