David Mandel
Chief Executive Officer, OHEL Children's Home and Family Services

Dog Abuse? Really?

Dog lovers beware you may not be happy with this article.

The Jerusalem Post recently chronicled  the saga of dogs and other animals who are victims of abuse and suffer trauma and the excellent care available from three highly specialized animal behaviorist in Israel.

A warm touching story.

‎These specialists prescribe psycho active drugs including Prozac and Clonazepam to act as calming agents for the dog coupled with desensitization techniques

Seth Meyer and Amy Poehler on Saturday N,ight Live would react to this story with incredulity: Really?

Exotic animals such as birds, snakes, rabbits and hamsters can also suffer from psychological trauma. Valium helps!

Dogs, as all species on earth, are God’s creatures. All life, be it plant, animal or human should be preserved. As the same article points out we are commanded not to sit down to eat before our animals have been fed.

An article on animal abuse is enlightening most especially to animal lovers.

Yet, any opportunity not to discuss the perils of child abuse and trauma is a lost moment.

Of course this is not meant in any way to equate child abuse and animal abuse. Just the opposite.

With the rising number of children falling prey to physical and sexual abuse if only based on rising demographics any and all conversations on prevention, response and reporting child abuse is imperative.

If dogs need to be desensitized from the cruelty of their owners than surely the human species needs greater sensitizationn to the cruelty of fellow man. Not to merely feel sympathy for the child thrown by his mother from a third floor window. But to react with horror and discuss it with family, friends and co-workers before flipping the newspaper page or scrolling to the next story.

We have a tendency to dismissively say, abuse happens a statistical expectation. Births, deaths, car accidents, abuse will occur in the cycle of life as if it’s all a normal event.

Abuse is an all too common event but not a normal event.

Births and deaths are the exclusive domain of  God.

Child abuse is the exclusive purview of man.

God has not abused one child amongst his countless hundreds of billions of children.

We, man, abuse one of every seven children.

Preventing the abuse of dogs is admirable.

‎Keeping children safe from harm is paramount.

We need do a much better job of it.

Not read about it, not talk about it, not even just to write about it.

Next time you hear or see an occurrence of child abuse, in any form, get angry, respond with horror,  with vigilance and with vocal support of the victim.

Next time you see a pit bull and get a knot in your stomach remind yourself that pedophiles are more dangerous than pit bulls. Pedophiles hurt many more children ‎.

You wouldn’t want any child hurt by either.

About the Author
David Mandel is CEO of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services. For more than 50 years, Ohel has provided a safe haven for those suffering in the community. Ohel cares for more than 17,000 individuals in the New York metropolitan area and across all communities offering a broad range of mental health services including outpatient counseling, trauma, anxiety, eldercare, respite and housing.