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Why Animal Lovers Must Turn It Around


When it came to writing “The Farmers’ Market” it was time for an objective and fair point of view about dogs in the national media and public conversation.


September 14, 2021 |

Ron Hevener - Guest Writer


Let’s face it: Animals (especially dogs) fill emotional needs for many of us, but, they are not our children.


Why Animal Lovers Must Turn It Around


Even if they do feel like children to us emotionally, they are no more “equal” than any child is to their parents. Parenting (and dog ownership) is a relationship of responsibility, not equality.

In recent years, as schools have been teaching our children to see the similarity and connection between all living things, a “society within a society” has been born. Some would say it’s the seeds of an evolving culture taking hold and others would say it’s a completely new culture being forced upon us. The truth is somewhere in between, because honest and naturally-evolving cultures absorb and utilize everything that happens over the years.


What does this have to do with dogs? Dogs – and how we see them in our lives – can be a unifying force within a changing culture because (even though we are different from them) dogs do share what some call the “Life Beat” and which others just describe as “basic heart” or passion with every unashamed scream and holler and kiss they’ve got in them.


None of this means we all see their connection to us (their role in our lives) in the same way. It doesn’t mean laws being made against this or that are correct or fair or for the ultimate good, either. Laws, after all, can turn out to be mistakes and should be changed. We have a chance for a broader point of view now, when the national “conversation” is perhaps taking animal lovers more seriously.


Does this open up the question of who is an honest animal lover (and who isn’t)? Yes, it does, because there are big corporations that started as charities built with donations from people who wanted to believe those charities really loved animals. The truth didn’t always match those heart-breaking ads . . . and nobody told us what really happened to those animals and their “not-quite-forever” homes.


Face it, “Forever Homes” are as rare as unicorns in these days of virus insecurity and no work.


A good look at how animals – and how we see them – can be a unifying, healthy, good and positive force in our lives instead of a dividing one for everybody. A force for love instead of punishment.


We can take a fresh look at the symbiotic relationship between dogs and people and ask if, maybe, we’ve missed seeing something right in front of our eyes: Maybe (instead of animals serving us...) we’re the ones who serve them.



Maybe – in the same way bees are pollinators of the plant world – we humans are pollinators of the animal world. We are, after all, the ones who can fly farther than any of them and we do reach every corner of the Earth.


Society is trying to make rules about how we think and how we feel when it comes to animals. People who aren’t even part of animal-related industries or sports activities, for example, are trying to dictate laws about what we can or can’t do. Our natural joy and passion is disappearing with each new law they pass. In doing so, they hurt the animals we love and they shrink the activities we and our animals can have together.


Are there laws and attitudes about animals that need correcting? Yes, there are. Is there corruption and abuse of power by authorities in the animal control system and its enforcement? My personal research says absolutely there is – and stories about the corruption are beginning to reach the public after a long period of media courtship with big corporations that were built on charity for animals and proved not to be what we thought they were.


Can we take back our role as real animal lovers? Yes, we can. We can do it the same way as all cultures make corrections to their mistakes: We can do it by votes and elections, exactly like the presidential one we just came through.


We can start by regulating the failed and sometimes reckless animal control system. Saving animals from suffering is a good thing – as long as you aren’t doing it because you hate people. Reasons for doing something are very important and psychological testing of Animal Control authorities might be something we should require. It’s just one idea. Of many.


Today, we are in uncertain times. Financially, not many animal lovers know how long they can afford to care for their pets and livestock – but they’re trying.


We don’t know how long it will take for our lives to recover from these viruses. But, Animal Control raids and prosecutions aren’t waiting for that day and we don’t know what will be left of wonderful breeding programs and farms after this.


What we do know is, it’s time to stop the music. It’s time for us to take a more compassionate look at animal lovers doing the best they can during these difficult times. And, it’s time for us to fix a system that has been broken (and unregulated) for too long.


We can do it ... if we want to.


About Novelist Ron Hevener: He is the author of eight published books with dynamic characters and sizzling backdrops in the international dog and horse show worlds. His illustrated column "On With The Show!" was a popular feature among readers of ShowSight Magazine. In addition to growing up in Pennsylvania farming country, Mr. Hevener is one of the premier designers of collectible animal figurines living today and his latest novel, "The Farmers' Market" (a refreshing look at what he calls the Animal Control System, how it has failed animals, people who love them and what we can do about it) is available from "We can change things," he says. "If we want to."


Check out Ron Hevener’s new book, The Farmers’ Market and many more on Amazon.

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