I am appalled almost daily as I read accounts of animal neglect and cruelty.

Our pets can be our best friends, and they deserve to be shown the kindness and attention that they deserve. Our pets can provide us with a constant source of unconditional love, entertainment, companionship and laughter, and they do not ask for much in return, just nutritional food, love, attention, exercise and an occasional change of scenery. And of course, the occasional treat is always welcomed.

I am sickened by stories of dogs left chained up outside, isolated for long periods of time and/or otherwise physically or emotionally abused. They certainly did not ask for or deserve this kind of treatment. I am also saddened by stories of pets that are surrendered to animal shelters because they no longer fit into the family model, are too much of a bother, or whatever — or no — reason. A commitment to a pet should be a commitment for life.

Phil Smith