The last couple of weeks we've read some happy stories about humans helping animals.

The Shamokin News Item had a great article about a dog that went missing from its home and was seen at the edge of a 70-foot quarry cliff.

Firefighters from Elysburg and Danville used Danville's 85-foot ladder truck, equipped with a basket, to rescue the terrified miniature collie.

The Oil City Derrick newspaper reported a couple of days ago that a friendly neighbor helped save a western Pennsylvania dog from a house fire by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the animal.

The newspaper said that the 3-year-old black lab and husky mixed dog was overcome by smoke on Saturday at a fire in the town of Kennerdell.

The Derrick's reporter wrote that a boy and his mother pulled the pet out of the smoke-filled home, but it was unresponsive until a woman who lived nearby held the dog's nose and employed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Joe Santucci, another neighbor, tells the paper that the dog was taken to an animal clinic and was discharged Sunday in good condition.

We've seen numerous instances where local firefighters and police officers have saved lives of all sorts of pets at fire scenes.

And why wouldn't we act so responsibly to save animals. Many times we hear about animals saving the lives of humans.

What a lift of the spirit to read such positive articles.

On the other hand, we only need to walk around many communities to realize not everybody has the same passion for animals.

No matter how bitter cold the temperatures get, we still see people have dogs tied outdoors sometimes with very little shelter and frozen water dishes.

We see yards where dogs are tied and never taken off the tethers.

We can go on and on about such instances of animal abuse.

Should people become better educated about animal care before being permitted to adopt them? Do animal enforcement laws need to become more stringent? Should the state become more proactive in animal law enforcement?

These are questions to ponder.

In virtually everything, you can find good and bad. It's great when you read articles like the dog rescued from the cliff and the CPR that saved a dog's life.

We can only wish that all our four-legged friends would be so fortunate to have caring people around them.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]