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Editorial observations: This is worth doing

May 28, 2014

in Local

SWO-webBy Pete Daniels
Contributing editor

Society has acknowledged for many years now that spousal abuse is a problem. Women are the most frequent targets, as most of us know, and the issue has spurred a number of movements and organizations designed to protect these victims.

Shelters were established to give women, and children, a safe haven from abusive spouses. Many communities, including Sedalia, have such facilities, all of which have more than proven their value.

It is an unfortunate truth that such abuse, rather than declining, has remained at a steady, if not growing level. There are many reasons, as we know, and recounting them here would serve little purpose.

However, there is a side to all of this that has received little, if any, attention over the years. At least until very recently when a group of enlightened individuals in the Kansas City area came to realize there was a family segment totally overlooked when an abusive spouse goes on a rampage.

What they saw when families were torn apart was that pets — dogs, cats and other animals — had been completely ignored by society, apparently being considered a relatively unimportant bit of collateral damage.

We tend to take our pets for granted, and that’s not unusual. They are always with us and dependant on us in order to survive. An abusive spouse, it has been found, frequently doesn’t stop the abuse with the spouse. Pets also become targets and they are all too often even less able to defend themselves.

The Kansas City-area group has launched an effort to shelter these voiceless victims, providing care and, frequently, rehabilitation for these animals. That’s a worthwhile effort and it’s something our community should also consider.

True, we already have an animal shelter. That facility, however, mostly deals with stray or abandoned animals and, in all likelihood doesn’t have the ability, or the funds, to expand that role.

The rescue of pets from abusive family situations could be an expensive proposition. Veterinary care, food, medical needs and a place of safety have large dollar tags attached to them.

However, that isn’t an impossible hurdle to cross, as the KC group is demonstrating. It’s an idea that ought to be considered here, and we hope it is. Abusing a helpless animal is a reprehensible and ugly thing. It has even been criminalized, and rightly so. Let’s hope someone here agrees and tries to find a way to help.

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Most of my mornings begin with a cup of coffee and a light breakfast at the Sunrise Cafe, a tiny place located at Main and Grand that features homemade meals created from real ingredients.

The cafe’s staff includes Clara, the owner,who hails from Columbia (the country) and Elizabeth. Both share cooking and serving duties.

There are several “waves” of patrons who frequent the place and “my” group usually includes Herb, a retired real estate guy who now owns several rental properties; Bill, who works at the Center for Human Services; Ron, who owns an electrical company; Alvy and Gary, working for a company that, among other things, installs highway signs all over the place; Chuck, who works for the city; Keith and John, who labor at General Cable; and a few other hardy souls who get an early start.

By that I mean this little group begins the day at around 6 a.m. and probably have for most of their working lives.

For some odd reason, most of them seem to be oatmeal fanatics, an ailment I haven’t succumbed to yet. Frankly, oatmeal, to me, doesn’t look all that appealing, regardless of what you add to it. You could bury the stuff in raisins, brown sugar and what not and it still wouldn’t draw me to it. Still, at the Sunrise I suddenly find myself in the minority (again) and that’s become a bit alarming.

Conversations during these mornings tend to center on current events, what the locals are doing (especially when it comes to elected officials), some sports and other, equally unimportant matters.

These little discussions tend to be a bit irreverant, to put it in polite terms, and it isn’t all that rare for the topics of discussion to be viewed in a less than a favorable light. Questioning the whys and wherefores of politicians’ activities and other, related, matters happens often.

It’s all innocent, of course, and there is no intent to harm anyone, but these little talks can be revealing. It’s a nice way to start the day and you’d be welcome to join us.

Meanwhile, if you have anythings in either of these subjects, please let us know. We welcome your letters or notes.

 

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