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by Abigail Van Buren

Homeless People Are More in Need Than Homeless Pets

DEAR ABBY: You told a woman that if reconciliation with her estranged son is not successful, she and her husband can leave their money to their favorite charity or to their local animal shelter.

A few years ago, I might have said the same thing. But my drive to work takes me through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, where hundreds of men, women and children live, scrounge through trash cans for garbage to eat, and warm themselves by bonfires they light in the street at night. I've seen grown men using the streets for a public restroom, with looks of anguish and great embarrassment on their faces as I drive by.

Given the awesome task of helping such people, it grieves me to think of people with money to give away donating it to animals. The number of children without food, people without jobs and families without homes is growing daily, and it appears that the government isn't going to do much about it at the moment. -- FEMALE EXECUTIVE

DEAR EXECUTIVE: Must one make a choice? I would hope the human heart would be big enough to provide ample food and shelter for all God's living creatures. But in a country as wealthy as ours, for people to be scrounging in trash cans for garbage to eat is a national disgrace.