All living things must be allowed to live cruelty-free lives with no neglect and no abuse. Rational people should be shocked and appalled at the conditions found at Willamette Animal Rescue in Brooks.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office seized more than 100 dogs this week at the facility. The manager was arrested and faces multiple counts of animal neglect. The dogs were relocated to animal and rescue shelters in the area; many were suffering from open sores and malnutrition. Some of the dogs were stacked in small carriers while others ran free.

All the facts of this case are not yet known, but we should all acknowledge that the conditions in which the dogs were found is inhumane. Whomever is proven to be responsible for these unacceptable conditions needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

There are far too many instances of animal hoarding, animal abuse, and animal neglect—horses, dogs, cats. These are defenseless animals who can’t speak for themselves and cannot fight for themselves. They are living creatures which deserve a life free from harm.

There are things that can done: lower the pet population by spaying and neutering pets; asking for help when owning animals gets to be too much of a burden. Just as important is to be aware of those animals in harm’s way and reporting it to law enforcement agencies.