I run and ride daily in and around Nevada City, and I see a lot of irresponsible pet owners. I’m writing on behalf of the animals. Dogs are often running unleashed, and invariably, the owner says (sheepishly), “He doesn’t bite,” which is not always the case, since a dog will do what it needs to do to protect its owner. Today, an owner said those words to me, and she added, “Just kick her.” I love animals, and that’s the last thing I want to do, and it’s appalling to me that she said that. Yesterday, we found a very skinny cat who had egregious injuries on her face and was missing an eye. As we called Animal Control to report it, a neighbor yelled, “Before you do anything drastic, check with the owner. She’s elderly and sick.” With empathy for the owner’s condition, my husband said, “What’s drastic is allowing this animal to suffer like this.” The humane thing to do in this case is to put the cat down. An animal lover is a steward and takes care of their best interests. When that doesn’t happen, the animal suffers.