Letter: We should have zero-tolerance for animal abuse
December 27, 2013
Aspen/Snowmass is considered to be a premier, international destination. It is for that reason that I find it shocking to see our local newspapers repeatedly reporting on the animal-abuse issues occurring at the Krabloonik kennels.
There have been years of reports on the ongoing poor treatment of dogs there, defended with every possible excuse: They are work animals, not pets; they are privately owned, therefore it's not the business of the community or the city in which it takes place, etc.
All of these are an embarrassment for any community, let alone a "premier" destination such as ours. As a regular citizen, I believe abuse of a single animal should not be tolerated when reported more than once and results should include fines and the removal of the animal from the abuser. Somehow in this situation multiple reports of neglect and harm to dozens of animals (or possibly more) over the years have been tolerated.
In Friday's paper, one letter to the editor mentioned that the dogs have a better life at Krabloonik than those "orphaned" and living at the local shelter. I beg to differ. At the shelter they are in an open yard throughout the day with other dogs (rather than chained up on a short lead year-round). They are walked and visited by volunteers and visitors, and of course they are fed as much as they need to maintain a healthy weight (even if no longer working) and brought to the vet immediately when needed.
Although Krabloonik dogs are raised to be hearty and used to the elements, the older and infirm ones are much happier and better-off sleeping on the radiant-heated floor of the shelter rather than in the snow, no matter what the temperature. The mistreatment of animals is not appropriate anywhere, but especially not in a prosperous-resort community such as ours where so many locals and visitors care about the well-being of animals. It is insane to read about the infractions taking place at Krabloonik over and over again. I think I speak for many people in my disgust over this issue.
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