1.12.2006

Musings of a Troubled Mind

Yesterday, the cover story of the Honolulu Advertiser was an article about abused dogs (64 of them) that were about the be returned to the abusive owner after they were seized from his property last year. The owner has about a month to give away or sell the pets, by court order.

According the the paper, the Humane Society took the pets last year and assumed responsibilty for their care (2 females had litters in that year), a bill which totalled more than a quarter of a million dollars. The Humane Society wanted to place the pets up for adoption. Instead, the court has returned the animals to the owner with the caveat that he get rid of most of them, allowing him the possibility to place them with family or friends and still have access and control over them. The accused was fined a few thousand dollars and received a suspended jail sentence of about six months, which he will never serve. Not only that, but 3 days following the removal of the pets, the state also removed three minor children from the residence and order the accused to undergo psychological counseling and even parenting classes.

So onto the musings.....Hooray for the Hawaiian Humane Society and all the work they do. I am so proud of this organization and the efforts they make. I will continue to support them monetarily when possible and donate my old blankets and sheets, dog food, kitty litter, etc whenever possible so that work like this may continue.

Now for the ugly. Are you serious? Why give this idiot back his dogs? This decision is a PERFECT example of what is fundamentally wrong with our legal system (even our pathetic parenting in many cases)...we never seem to enforce serious consequences. We "count to three" as a warning and then never spank, see what I mean? That is not a good deterrent. Think on this...So much of all behavior is based on learning. Learning is based on consequences. If something bad happens to you, likely you will not repeat the action that caused the yucky consequence. If it was only a threat of a yucky consequence, well you may be tempted to repeat the action.

Also, a fine and some "fake" jail time are pathetic punishments for animal cruelty. Why did the court return the animals to him? Why did they refuse to let the Humane Society place the animals? Think for a moment on the foster homes where these animals were staying all these months. Those folks put their hearts on the line for these pets only to have them broken by the courts' decision. The lawyer for the accused claims his client is embarrassed and has changed his ways and learned so much from the ordeal. Hmmmm....

Now for the confusion...As a Christian, I have no right to cast judgement on my fellow man. I do not know his story, his reasons, etc. So wait a second...now I am conflicted about my own convictions on animal cruelty...You see, I always want to EDUCATE those who are making mistakes in the care of their pets, that is why I teach puppy classes in the first place. However, when the information is blatantly ignored by an owner, do I have a right to step in and make the call to the Humane Society? I have do so before with one of my neighbors. I was tempted to do so with another neighbor just last month when I discovered the emaciated state of his pet and the leg/hip injuries from a car accident that were apparently never treated. This time I chose to take them a box of sweets for the family and a huge bag of chow for the dog, with a Christmas card explaining that I have worked as a vet tech before and if they ever needed anything to let me know. Better choice? Maybe? He's still limping, he's still kinda skinny.....but he's still alive...

I don't need the world to know that the accused was a bad person. I just want to see people pay accordingly for their mistakes. I believe in the justice system in this country. If there was no foul play then this man should have walked free. He did not, yet his sentence is a mockery of justice. As disgusted as I am and as much as I have ranted, I will still pray for patience and moreso for the lives of those pets and the owner, because he needs all the help he can get.

Stupid Humans make me crazy.

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