The specific scenario I’m about to relate is made up, though not from pure imagination. It is pasted together from dozens of similar stories we have all heard. Fictional or not, it could well have happened in your neighborhood or could well happen in your neighborhood sometime in the future.
Police had received complaints from the neighbors of the house on Lonely Street (made-up street) for months of disgusting smells that had been coming from the residence of Mrs. O’Ceedee (made-up name), and they had warned Mrs. O’Ceedee that action would be taken if she did not do whatever was necessary to stop the odor. When they went to her house, they recognized the smell as that of dog shit, but she wasn’t about to let them inside, and as they were trying to solve the problem without making a criminal matter of it, they were not initially prepared to resort to search warrants.
As time went by, though, the problem actually increased rather than resolved, so the police obtained the proper authority to gain access to the inside of Mrs. O’Ceedee’s home and were appalled by what they found. As they expected, it was another case of animal hoarding, but Mrs. O’Ceedee had taken it to new levels. When the counting was finished, it was revealed she had been keeping over 400 Chihuahuas in her seven-room house. Mrs. O’Ceedee was charged with cruelty to animals, failure to license the dogs and several violations of public health codes. The dogs were confiscated, taken away by local humane shelter personnel. The dogs were undernourished, many of them were sick with a variety of canine ailments, and all of them demonstrated symptoms of abuse, neglect and the stress that comes with living under those conditions.
The humane shelter was overcome by the flood of terrified dogs. They spread the animals out to all of the neighboring towns’ shelters, which only put all of those shelters in crisis. Word went out on the local news outlets that the dogs would be available for adoption as soon as they had been cleared by the shelters’ volunteer veterinarians. For days, news audiences within miles of Mrs. O’Ceedee’s home were treated to image after image of trembling Chihuahuas, staring into the camera with sad, sad eyes.
Two weeks after the story first appeared on television, Glenda Perky (made-up news co-anchor) announced that all of the dogs had been adopted by compassionate animal lovers and that, in fact, the humane shelter had received twice as many calls for adoption as there were Chihuahuas to be adopted, though it was suspected that a number of the calls had come from Mrs. O’Ceedee, who was out on bail the day after her arrest.
The specific scenario I will now relate is not made up.
Up to 50,000 children, some as young as six years old, have been streaming across the Rio Grande after making their way to the United States' southern border from as far away as Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. They are trying to escape an epidemic of violence and murder that has turned those countries into hellish landscapes of poverty, gang rule and no hope. They came under the mistaken impression that the United States would not turn desperate, endangered children away and for the most part, they have surrendered themselves to border authorities as soon they reach U.S. soil.
With no facilities to handle such an influx of human misery, the children are being crammed into whatever is available, from school gymnasiums to empty jail cells. Reports are coming in that up to 30 at once are being housed in cells designed for six inmates. They are justifiably confused and afraid, and many of them are suffering from a variety of ailments.
Some were bused to a town in California, if only to spread the misery out to more manageable levels, but the buses were turned away by angry, screaming locals to whom, evidently, the childrens’ plight is of little or no concern. Other Americans are demanding the kids be returned immediately to the nightmare from which they escaped, in spite of widespread pontificating among like-minded political factions of the sanctity of life and the unique nature of human beings.
Still other Americans are wondering what in hell our country stands for anymore, if not to protect children.