Times have changed, rust have probably taken over these set of words but it is still worth stating: A dog is, indeed, the mans best friend. Historical artifacts tell us that there are a lot of tasks that the man and dog can do together. Dogs have been used to hunt for food, herd animals, guard livestock and property, destroy rats and other vermin, pull carts and sleds, perform rescues, and apprehend lawbreakers. They have been used during wartime as sentinels and message carriers.
Today trained dogs are used to alert deaf people to common household sounds, such as the ringing telephone or doorbell; guide the blind; or retrieve objects for quadriplegics. Perhaps the most common of the many roles served by the domestic dog, however, is that of companion (Bodner). From the foregoing paragraph, the importance of the role that dogs play in the everyday life of human beings was given light. In the past, they help people look for food and they can also be trained to protect the livelihood. They can also help with activities related to security, taking advantage of their strong sense of smell.
This is exemplified by the presence of dogs in selected commercial establishments such as malls and is also present in airports. In addition to this, they have been used to send messages during dangerous times such as wars when technological advancements in the field of communication have not yet been invented. In the present times, dogs serve as the companion of people. Studies show that dogs could be therapeutic especially for those with ailments for the mere sight of them brings joy and calmness. The positive thoughts they bring with every trick or move they make is simply priceless for the proud owners.
Above all this, we can already conclude that the world of dogs is a world of great optimism. They are owned by people, they get shelter, they get fed, and they get to do what they want. However, as one digs deeper into the conditions of dogs, one would be able to unravel the truth that people often take for granted. The fact remains that, even if dogs play important roles and has the ability to go beyond the mere barking, there are a great proportion of dogs whose deeds have been unrecognized and are treated poorly.
This scenario is typical for dogs that do not belong to any of the treasured breeds. Lucky are they if these dogs would be able to find a caring and loving home, but often, they are left to become stray dogs and placed in shelters. There is one instance where Andrew Sutton visited dog pounds in Taiwan sometime in November-December 1998. He found out that the living conditions of dogs are below minimum standards and even their basic living needs are not met. Just like human beings, these dogs need food and shelter adequate for their own development and well-being.
In the case of the Taiwanese dogs, their physical conditions readily show the kind of treatment they were given. Their shelters do not receive regular cleaning and are considered unsanitary (Sutton). In addition to this, they do not even have the chance to breathe fresh air due to overcrowding or even drink and eat fresh water and clean food (Sutton). As we trace back the loop to find out why the conditions are so, it would all lead to the way the employees of the shelters perceive the dogs. The people employed at the shelters claim that they undergo training.
However, their practice says otherwise (Sutton). They do not know proper sanitation for the dogs and still has the fear of going near them (Sutton). It is impossible for them to give proper care for the dogs when they are afraid of handling them (Sutton). It is about time that people at the dog shelter start viewing the dogs as merely dogs. It is only by doing so that the much needed change in the living conditions in the shelter would be realized. The dogs are locked in their cages and they do not have control over what is happening or what could happen with their very own lives.
As higher order animals and the ones bestowed with intelligence and the capacity to think rationally, the responsibility for leading them to better conditions is in the hands of the human beings. This is not to say that human beings have to be responsible for everything that the dogs need. The dog has their own ways of survival and living but people need to create the enabling environment that would let them live healthy and joyful lives. The golden rule states that people should do to others as they would have others do to them, where others may mean people, animals, things, and anything that is in their environment.
Human beings should start adopting this rule in their interaction with dogs, especially those in shelters. If people all over the world are aspiring for better living conditions and would want to be cared for adequately, it is essentially the same with the animals. Thus, it should be the desire of people to treat the dogs as they want to be treated. Also, those who are at a disadvantageous position should have more when it comes to the law. Legislations should be passed that will adequately address the needs of dogs in shelters for among dogs, they are the ones at the most detrimental situation.