Imagine being a dog. You're hot, under the blazing sun on the hot pavement of a parking lot. And your owner's trying to give you away or sell you.
It takes place every day in mall, shopping center and Wal-Mart parking lots throughout the area -- around the entire country, probably -- and, among other things, serves as a prime example of why spaying and neutering is necessary.
I realize most of those giving away those dogs -- as well as cats, rabbits, ducks and other small animals -- are well-meaning decent people.
But I wonder if maybe a city or county license should be required to sell/hand over animals in a public place, just as yard sale permits are required. Some locations, one shopping center in Murfreesboro I'm thinking of in particular, resemble unorganized pet stores during warm months.
It also enters my mind that maybe some of these animals don't end up in the best of homes. Hopefully all those giving away or selling animals publicly are trying to size up takers, at least to some extent.
Many of these animals probably end up being the ones roaming the streets, being picked up by taxpayer-supported animal control personnel, kept at our expense and setting off public discussion about how to handle strays. And I guess many of those "adopted" from shelters end up on the streets as well.
I'm not singling out anyone in particular. Most of those giveaway dogs are obviously well cared for by loving people. But sometimes I see some that don't look to be in such good shape -- and it's those animals, and owners, who need to be checked out.