I fully empathise with the sentiments expressed by Ian O'Doherty in his article in last Friday's Irish Independent, "Seriously, when will people learn that a dog's not just for Christmas?"
Far too many people in this country think a dog is a disposable object, to be used and abused at their whim.
Our legislation to protect Irish animals is so ineffective it might as well be non-existent. Dogs living in appalling and heartbreaking conditions in puppy farms throughout this country are testament to a Government that neither cares nor has the moral decency to do anything to protect these defenceless creatures.
The elected individuals of our Dail should consider AC Grayling's observation: "A person's integrity is never more fully tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature."
There is a general perception that people who love animals are soft and don't live in the real world. History shows us that some of the most admired men cared deeply about the creatures with whom we share this planet -- Leonardo Da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Gandhi and the Dalai Lama to name but a few.
So, Mr O'Doherty is in excellent company.
Glouthaune, Co Cork