SEPTEMBER 25, 1946
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—We are now in the midst of Dog Week, and I thought about it as I was walking through the woods this morning with Fala, who has the most wonderful time dashing after squirrels and rabbits, going through the swamps and coming in soaked but happy.
It seems to me that, during this week, those of us who really care about dogs should remind people that they can bring great companionship and pleasure but, in return, they must be well cared for. I have seen people move away from a house and just leave their dogs and cats to stray in the neighborhood and steal food. That seems to me an inhuman thing to do.
Dogs grow fond of their families, and so, if you have to separate from them, then find them a new family where they will be well cared for. People should not have dogs if they cannot feed them properly. A dog's food costs comparatively little, but he should get it regularly and properly prepared. Puppies particularly need the right kind of food or they will get rickets, just like children.
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A dog in a family has great educational value. Children can learn that you have to have consideration for a dog, just as you would for a person. That is a good lesson to learn early in life, because you get on better with others if you have consideration for them.
I differ with people who would not use dogs for scientific experiments because I think scientists are careful not to inflict pain. Through the use of animals, much has been learned which has been beneficial to mankind. While I would never want a dog used except by a real scientist, I would never prevent the development of knowledge in this way.
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An organization called Youth United for Famine Relief has been formed. It is an auxiliary to the President's Famine Committee and is sponsored by the National Social Welfare Assembly. The groups that have banded together to help other young people in the world through conservation of food, and through better understanding of how food can be provided, will obtain a liberal education through their contacts with young people in other nations.
The organizations cooperating are the American Junior Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys' Clubs of America, the youth department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, the 4-H Clubs, Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, and a great many more. Their joint efforts can mean better education for young and old in this country and better conditions throughout the world.