What does it mean to be humane? Many would answer with the use of words such as compassion, just, kindness, benevolence. Others would answer that it means accepting the role and responsibility as stewards of the animals and planet. Some would say it would be to treat all living creatures as you would a human. But some humans don’t treat other humans well so how can that be used as a measurement? To complicate things further, some humans treat animals better than they do other humans. Do we just need a new definition for humane?

I don’t think we need to re-define the word humane but just re-learn it. Well, re-learn it and apply it. As a dog I learn and do what I am taught. I think humans are the same. I think the people that ran the puppy mill I was rescued from were not taught about being humane. Or they unlearned it, that can happen too.

Now that I have been rescued from the inhumane puppy mill my life has improved dramatically, but I keep hearing about other acts of inhumanity all around the country and world. People hurting other people that they think are different from them. People hurting people they are afraid of. People hurting others for what they believe in. People are just hurting.

Isn’t this human’s Golden Rule, “treat others as you wish to be treated”? As a maxim within many religions and cultures it seems pretty basic and simple to follow. If humanity has forgotten how to be humane how can it be re-learned?

Here is my idea. To become more humane people just need to act more like animals. I know this sounds weird but hear me out. We are loving creatures. We reward love with more love in return. We will readily teach you what feels good and what does not feel good. We help you to understand that love is the most important thing in your world and our world. Please start listening to us. Please start listening to your own hearts. Please.

To end on a positive note, I recently met a few kids here in Ridgway who are actively teaching about the proper definition of humane. They started a group called “Don’t Hurt Dogs” and are so cool that their short film was selected to be in the next nation-wide Bow Wow Film Festival! Second Chance is hosting this brand new feel-good dog-centric Bow Wow Film Festival online from July 24th through August 7th. This is the 7th year that Bow Wow has gathered the best short films inspired by dogs to share and remind people what being humane is really about. Tickets and info are only $16/household and can be purchased at bowwowfilmfestival.org.

About Me.

My name is Spot On but you can call me Spot. My dear buddy Freckles and I arrived together but are fine with being adopted separately. We are only one year young Shih Tzus. I have never had a home before so my new family will need to be patient, and humane of course, as I figure out all this new stuff like leashes, cars, squeaky toys, grooming, where the potty is and, well, even what it means to have a name. Call for an appointment to meet me today!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for over 26 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.