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Dogs bring out our better angels

A letter in The News questioned whether the attention and resources given to abused animals, such as Phoenix, the severely burned dog, is worthwhile. The writer states that, “There are other criminal acts that deserve the attention of law enforcement and our local news venues.” She concludes with a suggestion that we revisit our priorities.

While I am a dog lover, I do not begrudge the writer’s challenge to our priorities. She raises legitimate questions. Are these dogs and incidents worth our time and resources, which are so limited to begin with?

As an occasional volunteer at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, I have witnessed countless moments where the unconditional love of a dog has brought such joy to someone. I have seen the toughest, gruffest construction workers melt over a puppy. And I have been touched by the efforts of people to care for these animals that are so dependent on us.

These dogs bring out our better angels. Perhaps through the love and compassion that we experience with them, we in turn can treat each other better as well. Do they deserve the attention? Yes.

Paul McCarthy

East Amherst