Upon hearing the news that Manchester Dogs’ Home was set alight last night (Thursday 11th September) killing 60 dogs (at the time of writing), everyone here at Animal Friends Pet Insurance is in a state of shock. When you think that literally millions of people in the UK alone dedicate their everyday lives to helping animals in need, this just intensifies the sadness around the destruction of a charity that carries out vital work in helping the dogs of Manchester.
Although a 15 year old has been arrested on suspicion of arson, we will not know who, or what, started the fire until the police and fire service have completed their investigation and drawn their conclusions. In any case, if it was deliberately started by a person, then they must be feeling pretty bad right about now. Or maybe they’re not. Maybe that’s the issue.
In today’s society it seems that defenceless animals are often the target of disgusting human beings’ abuse. Human nature is wonderful, but it can also be crushing, especially when talking about those humans that do not seem to have a conscience.
There are too many cases of cats and dogs being hurt, injured, or worse, at the hands of humans and this, quite frankly, is appalling.
This is not to say that all humans are bad and guilty of every animal abuse case, rather that, whilst the sect of society that harbours such a disregard for an animal’s life is relatively minute, it is still far too large.
We are all ‘capable’ of inflicting pain and hurt on animals, but what makes us human is our conscience and the ability to know what is wrong and what is right. Whoever set alight to the dogs’ home must have known what the building was, and therefore displayed a complete lack of empathy and compassion, two of the truest forms of positive humanity.
Of course, this could have been a tragic accident, but that does not stop the fire from further highlighting the wonderful side to human nature.
As soon as the local residents knew what was going on, hundreds and hundreds of them rushed to the charity’s premises to see how they could help, so much so that the fire and police services had to turn people away. Two local men actually managed to jump the fence and broke down doors where they heard dogs whimpering, leading around 20 of them to safety. Others brought food and supplies with them to donate hoping that they could help in any way possible.
And it doesn’t stop there, a JustGiving page, set up by the Manchester Evening News, has already raised well over £1,300,000 for the charity, smashing the record for the amount of money raised on a JustGiving page in the first 12 hours a page was set up.
In addition to monetary donations, people all over the country are donating food, blankets, toys and anything they can think of to help Manchester Dogs’ Home get back on their feet and care for the 150 dogs that survived, who are currently being cared for at the charity’s sister home, Cheshire Dogs’ Home.
All of this counteracts the dark side of this senseless tragedy that has struck a chord with so many. Yes, the motives and thought-process behind the fire could very well be dark. And yes, the loss of so many beautiful animals is devastating. But how we are responding as a society just cements all that is good with us as humans, providing hope, and certainly solace, that even in the most horrific of circumstances, the best side of human nature shines through.
To help with the situation Animal Friends Pet Insurance has donated £25,000 directly to the Manchester Dogs’ Home.
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