Can’t blame people for speaking up

Published 12:01 am Friday, October 18, 2019

“If you see something, say something” is a catchy warning local law enforcement has been using lately in an effort to fight crime. The words can also be applied in a variety of other situations where ignoring a problem can ultimately be tragic.

Take animal abuse, for example.

Last week, several people complained that a horse and other animals on a former sheriff’s property appeared malnourished.

Email newsletter signup

Photographs suggested to casual observers at least one of the horses on the property was unable to maintain a healthy weight. The rib cages and other bones of the horse were clearly visible.  Justice Court Judge Eileen Maher, after hearing testimony from Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Karen Ewing, ordered an examination from a licensed veterinarian.

On Monday, a report from Dr. Byron Garrity was filed with the court and concluded that “all of the animals were in appropriate health considering their ages.”

The appearance of the horse in question — a 33-year-old mare — was not unusual nor a sign of neglect or abuse, Garrity said.

After learning of the report, we hope people will not jump to the conclusion that those who expressed concerns about the welfare of the animals did the wrong thing by calling local officials.

Not only did residents do the right thing by alerting deputies, Maher also did the right thing in ordering an evaluation of the animals.

Just because you see something doesn’t mean something is necessarily happening. But ignoring a questionable situation invites future tragedy. Overlooking a possible problem allows those who do choose to abuse and neglect their animals a reason to say, “It is none of your business.”

We are thankful the animals in question are healthy and in good condition. We are also thankful the system worked correctly and continues to safeguard the welfare all of God’s creatures.