Pets — they bring us joy and inevitably sadness.
I've had cats and dogs over the years with our latest Pixie cat leaving us a couple of years ago after 15 years.
She was inherited from my daughter when she moved to Australia so she lived until she was 17 years old. Not bad but really sad for us.
Most people that have animals do so for one reason or another. They might want company, they might want their children to understand the importance of being responsible and caring for animals, there are lots of reasons.
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However, I think, for people who work with animals such as the SPCA and animal rescue groups the one and only reason they work for such places is because they love animals.
I watched Sunday on One News and really felt for the SPCA staff. Rebecca Dobson, an area manager in the South Island said staff were struggling to cope with online criticism and abuse.
"People think we euthanase everything, that we're only in it for the money, and that we don't care about the animals," she said.
"I've lost a lot of sleep over it. I'm exhausted and tired," she said.
I've seen this same horrible posts about our SPCAs: "Don't call them they just put your dog down."
No they don't. Do people honestly think that SPCA staff drive around the streets looking for escaped dogs so they can either charge the owner or put them to sleep.
As I said, these people work for such places because they want to help animals. They also can't just rock up to a property and take an animal because the neighbour says it hasn't been fed.
There are procedures for all of the above.
I can't imagine some of the things these people have had to deal with.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. It's a time to not only reflect on how you can look after your own mental health, but how you can ensure that you don't affect others with nasty and unnecessary comments.
I don't know how many times I have written about and read about online bullying. It just amazes me how nasty some people can be.
People such as SPCA officers are doing their best. Auckland inspector Lori Davis, said on the programme that people on the frontline were "feeling the heat".
They have limited resources and a huge job. Imagine feeling responsible for every animal in your city.
It's not their fault people neglect their animals, it's not their fault owners don't secure their property.
If they get a phone call about a roaming dog they take it off the streets because that's their job. Better than leaving it to get run over or starve.
People really need to stop and think about how they would feel if nasty comments were posted all over social media about them or a member of their family. Comments have consequences.
I felt sad watching this programme. Sad for the SPCA staff trying to do their best and sad for the animals that might just miss out on their care because some people have the wrong perception of what the charity is all about.
*Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.