According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) 2010 rankings report on the strength and comprehensiveness of the laws of each state and territory in the U.S., Guam was named one of the nation’s “best places to be an animal abuser.” In 2011, Guam was applauded for its introduction of Bill 9 to it's anti-cruelty laws.
As an activist for animal welfare, I whole-heartedly support Bill 9. Despite Guam's efforts to improve, the fact still remains that the laws put in place to protect the animals who share our island, simply hold no bearing to the real issue. Based on personal experience and on my daily observation, Bill 9 has had no impact on the number of animals VISIBLY neglected and abused since it's introduction.
The vast majority of Guam's community are somewhat immune to animals who are visibly neglected, abandoned, or abused. This does not exclude ranking officials and those legally tasked to enforce these laws. With a disconnected community (in its majority) and the complacency of law enforcement, there are fewer cases reported; fewer rescue attempts made; and a growing amount of perpetrators who go unpursued and unpunished. No one is held accountable and our laws continue to fail the victims.
Unfortunately, the inherent lack of compassion towards animals cannot be changed through legislation. It is disheartening and overwhelmingly sad, and I, along with others who share my views, are outnumbered.
My goal is to gain the attention of Congress who will in turn force Guam's leaders to implement the CHANGES that need to take place. While I agree that animal rights and legislation should not be our only priority, I also agree that it is a topic that needs to be factored in as a priority regardless.
I firmly believe that not responding is a response. We are all just as equally responsible for what we don't do.
Any suggestions or comments you'd like to share with me will be tremendously appreciated.
Guam Business Magazine Article: http://www.guambusinessmagazine.com/?pg=vol28_08_feature03
ADLF Article (May 1, 2011): http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/animal-legal-defense-fund-applauds-improvements-to-guams-anti-cruelty-laws/
"I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other ... And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals ..."~Barack Obama
"I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man" ~ M. Gandhi (1869-1948)
"There comes a time when one must take a position, that it is neither safe, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him that it is right." ~ Martin Luther King
"My doctrine is this: That if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and we do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt" ~ Anna Sewel, Author of Black Beauty
"Brute animals have all the same sensations of pain as human beings, and consequently endure as much pain when their body is hurt; but in their case the cruelty of torment is greater, because they have no mind to bear them up against their sufferings, and no hope to look forward to when enduring the last extreme pain." ~Thomas Chalmers
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" ~M. Gandhi (1869-1948)
"Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission--to be of service to them whenever they require it... If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." ~ Saint Francis of Assisi