As I write this, Lucy the Tennessee brindle is stretched out on the couch. Chloe the cat is commandeering the Zaida Laz-e-boy by the front window. Boomer is splayed out in the kitchen, her thumping tail banging out an "I love you" every time I enter the room. There's another cat somewhere, and one thing I know for sure is that she's completely happy and content and loves the life she has.
I'm very happy that the two-leggers in this house can provide a comfortable environment for the four-leggers. We get a lot of great stuff back in return.
Chloe started out a very anti-social cat. Spent years avoiding us. Now she gets underfoot constantly. Gives you a swat as you go by, then flops over for a belly rub.
The hounds live for my every move. I can't tie my boots without them descending into a frenzy of bum-wagging and face licking at the prospect of a walk.
The other cat hangs out in the upstairs bathroom. She loves catching the last drips out of the tap when someone's had a bath.
All of these animals, "pets" if you must, have very fine low-stress lives. What's so cool is that they lower the stress in our lives. It's hard to be angry with the universe when a dog is licking your face or a fifteen year old cat is flopping on her back for a belly rub.
That's why I don't get stories like this.
While it's gratifying to see folks rally round and raise up a reward, the bigger question to me is what kind of a person does this sort of thing? How do you tape an animal's snout shut and set it out to starve to death?