A Tribute To Emmie

A Tribute To Emmie


This essay presents facts as they relate to how dogs and cats are abused, mutilated, and eaten throughout the world.  This is not a new problem, but one that has been around for some time, and needs to be eliminated.  In South Korea, there are farms that breed dogs and cats for the purpose of selling them as food.  In the United States, there are companies that state they’re humane, when in fact they euthanize these family pets.  There are things that can be done as citizens in the United States to eliminate these cruel practices from occurring, and some will be addressed in the following paper.

Thesis:  Cats and Dogs are abused worldwide in this new millennium.

  1. What are pets for and why do we have them?
    1. We have them for companionship.
    2. Many have them for entertainment.
    3. They’re used to aid those that are in need.
  1. How are these pets abused?
    1. They are prepared and eaten in some foreign countries.
    2. They are euthanized in the United States
  1. Animal Dictators
    1. If they kill animals, why don’t they do the same to others without voices?
      1. Such as infants
      2. The elderly
      3. Children in abusive homes
      4. The mentally challenged
      5. Vegetables
      6. Homeless people
  1. What happens to unwanted or problematic pets?
    1. They’re abandoned by their owners.
    2. They’re taken to pet shelters and humane societies.
    3. Why did I decide to take my cat to Wayside Waifs?
    4. My letter to Wayside Waifs after they misled me.
    5. The outcome of my Wayside Waifs challenge.
  1. What are the alternative options?
    1. Use a no-kill shelter
      1. They’re challenged by space.
      2. Shortages of finances limit openings.
    2. Keep using kill shelters if waiting for a no-kill shelter opening is not an option.
    3. How do we help these no-kill shelters?

Conclusion:  No matter what people think, dogs and cats have feelings, know love, and should be cherished.  Abuse of these family pets should not be tolerated in the United States or in other countries across the world.

Let’s explore why exactly we have dogs and cats as pets in the first place.  Many believe they’re part of the family, and treat them as one of the children.  Others use them to showcase their lifestyle, such as the rich and famous.  When it ultimately comes down to it, we have them for companionship; the single moment when you come home from a long day and a wagging tail or a single meow greets you at the front door.  Some pet owners use their pets in a way to enjoy entertainment, such as dog shows, calendars, or other forms of media.  While they’re still home companions, these people enjoy showing off their pets to others out of pride.  Most importantly, many of these pets are used in the aid of human beings.  This can range from search and rescue, guiding the blind or simply guarding property.  Granted most of these scenarios target dogs, there have been cats known to do some of the above mentioned things as well.

One form of abuse in the United States is euthanization, and it’s practiced by virtually all animal shelters, including humane societies.  What I will be examining is the facts behind how humane societies can call themselves human, when they’re the exact opposite.  In some cases, the general public is misled into believing these places to be something that they’re not.  That’s what happened to me, and to this day I regret that I relinquished my pet to one of these places.  What about other countries and the kind of abuse they inflict on these pets?

The task is relatively simple and only involves a few household items to accomplish.  First, find your choice of a plump cat, place him in boiling water for about two minutes, and then remove him while he’s still alive.  Next, cut his throat and strip off the skin cleanly, and you’re just about finished.  All that you need to do now is cut off his head and place the still barely live body into a plastic bag for freshness (How to Cook a Cat, 2007).

This sounds disgusting, but is common practice in some foreign countries.  Have you ever considered how abused dogs and cats have been?  Throughout the world, and even here in the United States, we abuse these family pets daily.  The problem is that not only is this happening in private homes, but in businesses as well.  These same businesses include some that you may think would never hurt an animal.

Let’s take a trip to South Korea, a place that not only has animal shelters, but also practices the consumption of dogs and cats.  This location is known for housing dog farms, and it’s amazing what reporters have found while visiting such places near Seoul, South Korea.

“We saw piles of dog fecal matter next to freezers that contained butchered dogs, and other areas that were used for cooking dogs.  We saw refrigerated trucks used to transport dog meat to various markets and restaurants.  We saw dogs being killed, and dogs barking and crying as other dogs near them were being killed by very slow and primitive means.”  In addition, “Some personnel have unfortunately witnessed cats being boiled alive recently.  The scene was disturbing” (Dog Meat, 2002).

“According to figures released by the Korean Food and Drugs Administration, “World Society for the Protection of Animals regional representative, Trevor Wheeler, told Animal People in 1999, “There are 6,464 restaurants throughout Korea which have dog meat dishes on their menus.  They sell 25 tons of the meat per day, and 8,428 tons per year.  Another 93,600 tons of dog meat is used each year to produce ‘medicinal tonics’” (Dog and Cat Eating – The Shame of Korea, 2001).

The practice of killing animals is real, and exists in South Korea.  They don’t sit alone though as numerous other countries also consume family pets.

“Dogs and sometimes cats are also eaten in parts of Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, the Philippines, and Asian portions of the former Soviet Union, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.”  Not to mention, “Dog-eating has been reported occasionally in Cuba, and cat-eating in Argentina” (Animal People, 1999).

There are many incidents, images, and videos that show how animal abuse is widely spread throughout the world (It’s Their Destiny, 2007).  For example, there were leaflets distributed that depicted the slaughter of cats and dogs for the Korea and Philippine pet-flesh trade.

“Images showed dozens of cats and kittens stuffed into a single wire mesh cage, a cat tethered beneath a boiling cauldron into which it was to be thrown alive, the soaking body of the previous victim dumped on the ground and rows of boiled cats ready for the next states of preparation” (Cats – Friend of Food, 2001).

A veterinarian even observed the boiling of cats in one instance, and he claimed, “They remain conscious and struggle for some seconds,” and that he could hear them trying to claw their way out of the metal cauldron of boiling water for up to 10 seconds (Cats – Friend of Food, 2001).  A woman’s magazine in Britain printed images of Korean housewives “shopping” – a terrified cat being dragged from its mesh cage by string around its neck while the woman struck its head repeatedly with a household hammer (Cats – Friend of Food, 2001).

I like to think of the humane societies we have as animal dictators that control, kill, and make life decisions of innocent animals that have no voice.  This may sound drastic considering many people don’t consider pets as life forms with feelings.  As mentioned in my letter to Wayside Waifs, the definition of humane is, “marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals” (Merriam-Webster Online, 2008).  That’s right, it says humans and animals, which means to me, if we don’t kill our fellow man, then we have no right to kill our fellow pets.  What would happen if the same actions taken by humane societies were taken against infants?  I doubt that the public would stand around while a newborn baby was euthanized.  This same scenario falls true with the elderly, children in abusive homes, the mentally challenged, human vegetables, and homeless people; all of which may not have a voice that can be heard.  It’s no fairer to kill family pets as it would be to kill these human beings.  In the United States we strive to find homes, protect the well-being of, and care for those that are less fortunate.  Yet when a pet comes into the picture, we’re quick to dismiss it as not being important, not having the space for, or not having the money to take care of.

Every day there are families that realize they have a problem pet, or perhaps they have a pet they can no longer take care of.  Then there are some that received a pet as a gift and don’t want it.  Others go to the extreme of taking their animal out to the country and abandoning it.  Due to this happening so frequently, it causes a large flow of dogs and cats to animal shelters each day.  Have you ever asked yourself or researched what actually happens to these pets once the owner gives them up to a shelter?  I’ll take a moment to share a personal experience with you, and try to explain why I decided to seek out an animal shelter, or humane society for one of my cats.

Outside of my guilt for actually considering giving up one of my beloved pets, I felt I had no other choice given the circumstances.  Her name was Emmie, and she was the second cat that I brought into my family.  As a kitten she behaved in a typical fashion, which included playing all the time, and trying to scratch things up.  This was definitely not a problem, since I knew I could have her fixed and her front feet declawed, which I ended up doing.  The problem actually surfaced after she turned two years old, and decided that using her litter box was not a necessity.  After looking further into the situation, I realized that she was having a problem with me being an authority figure in the house.  In addition, she started having problems with sharing the house with another cat, which I had about six months longer than her.  Because of these issues, she would take out her aggression and irritability by urinating on dirty clothes.  Appalled by this, I called my mother and was informed that cats sometimes hate sharing one cat box.  With hope, I obtained a second litter box for Emmie, and thought that would take care of the urinating situation.  To my despair, it didn’t, and within a few weeks she continued to use my clothing and carpet as her cat box.  Out of frustration, and at this point months of putting up with it, I decided that I could no longer keep her, and let her destroy my clothes and carpet.  Therefore, one afternoon I called Wayside Waifs, which is a widely known humane society in Kansas City.  Through word of mouth, I was told they’re a great place to take a pet that you can no longer keep, because they’re a no-kill shelter.  I’ve heard this from several people over many years and assumed it to be true.  Additionally, their mission statement makes you feel as if they’re a no-kill shelter, and you should feel good about taking your pet to them.

“Wayside Waifs, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit humane society and animal welfare organization established in 1944.  Our purpose is to improve the quality of animal welfare in our community by providing humane treatment and advocating for companion animals” (Wayside Waifs – Our Mission, 2008).

I figured I could take her there, explain that she needed a single cat home with someone that could spend a lot of time with her, and she’d be adopted quickly.  This word of mouth information was confirmed upon my arrival to Wayside Waifs when the receiving clerk and I had a detailed conversation about Emmie, and that any potential adopting family could call me day or night with questions.

What ended up blowing my mind was when I called to check up on Emmie, and I was told that she had been euthanized.  This showing information was a lot to take in after believing that Wayside Waifs was a no-kill shelter.  After a few months had passed, the killing of my cat continued to bother me, and I decided to look into the humane society I took Emmie to.  Come to find out, they had numerous free services available to aid a pet owner in resolving problems with their dog or cat.  In my case, they could have offered their behavioral service (Wayside Waifs – Services and Programs, 2007) to help me fix the urination problem that Emmie had.  Instead, they neglected to tell me about these services, and put her to sleep; telling me that her behavior problem is why they made that decision.  After making a donation to them so they could care for her, and having such a horrible thing happen, I decided to write the company a letter to express my concerns.

The only thing I did not include with my letter is the resolution I wanted from them as a company.  My reason for doing this is simple; I want them to contact me to find out what exactly I require them to do.  My demands are that they openly publish that they euthanize animals, so the public is aware of their practices, that they refund my donation, and that they apologize for not making me aware of the services they offer.  Then I could have made a better choice about where to take my pet, and how to more effectively handle the situation.

At this time I still have not received any correspondence from Wayside Waifs about my letter, or my concerns, and wonder if what I have expressed fell upon deaf ears.  I still hope that someday I will be contacted back, so at least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that they’re taken time to read my letter.  As time passes, I feel that I will never hear from them though.

With these expressed examples, what alternatives does the public really have?  In all reality there are several options, which include, abandoning their pet, eating it, relinquishing it to a kill shelter, or actually taking time to find a no-kill shelter.  Here is the problem with no-kill shelters, which ultimately falls on the community in which the shelter is located.  Many of these shelters lack the space to take in all of the animals that present themselves; as well, many of these places are also faced with the challenge of funding to adequately take care of these unwanted family pets.  For example, there is a no-kill shelter that is located in Merriam, KS called Animal Haven that is non-profit, and ultimately stays open because of community contribution (Animal Haven – About Us, 2007).  Since they are non-profit, it puts them and the pet owner in a trying situation.  Their size and funding limit the number of animals that they can take in at any given time, and in most cases there may be several weeks or months that a pet owner may have to sit on a waiting list.  This alone can propose a problem when a pet owner is having problems with an animal, and needs to get rid of it.  Also, many of these no-kill shelters lack the resources to provide behavioral assistance to common pet problems.

What usually happens is the owner is faced with having to choose a kill shelter over a no-kill shelter, even though it may be against their wishes.  Then there are some who may think they’ve chosen a no-kill shelter, when in fact they do kill, like Wayside Waifs.  How do we help no-kill shelters in their quest to save and care for family pets?  The answer is probably easier said than done, but would consist of putting these businesses on a pedestal and funding them.  This may mean writing to the local, state and federal government to request grants for these humane shelters.  You could help by giving and encouraging those you know to give, so it will assist these places in expanding; which would open more homes for pets.

It’s time to look into how we treat our fellow animals, and actually show that we care about them instead of displaying to all that they’re disposable.  No matter what people think, dogs and cats have feelings, know love, and should be cherished.  Abuse of these family pets should not be tolerated in the United States or in other countries across the world.


Animal Haven. (2007). Retrieved January 31, 2008, from

Animal People. (1999, July/August). Retrieved February 8, 2008, from

Clifton, M. (2001, June). Animal People: Dog and Cat Eating – The Shame of Korea. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from

Dog Meat. (2007). Retrieved January 31, 2008, from

Hartwell, S. (2001). Cats – Friend or Food? Retrieved January 31, 2008, from

How to Cook a Cat. (2007). Retrieved January 31, 2008, from

It’s Their Destiny. (2007). Retrieved February 10, 2008, from

Merriam-Webster Online. (2008). Retrieved January 31, 2008, from

Wayside Waifs – Our Mission. (2007). Retrieved February 8, 2008, from

Wayside Waifs – Services and Programs. (2007). Retrieved February 8, 2008, from

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Last Updated: 12/20/2022