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"Good intentions gone bad" Topic

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790 hits since 7 Oct 2013
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Solzhenitsyn Inactive Member07 Oct 2013 8:31 a.m. PST

A month ago a 2 year old dog was found in a park in Massachusetts badly beaten. The dog was in very bad shape and had been abused by some sadist. It had to be put down.

There has been great public outcry to find the "person" responible, but it is a very difficult case to prove.

Up steps some bright bulb and perposes a new series of laws to protect animals. Now there are already laws to punish criminals for abuse of animals, but now we are going "really" make it tough on animal abusers.

One of the laws to prevent private transfer of pet ownership. You can't give someone a puppy, it must go through a shelter. The other is that all animals in a shelter must be examined by a vet every 30 days.

There are several "no kill" shelters here in Mass. They and many other animal shelters have said that the new perposed laws would be too expensive for operations and would drive them out of business. The shelters have also stated that the no private transfer of animals will overload thier services with abandoned infant pets or lead to them being killed by owners.

So, instead of thinking the law through, some mouth piece puts out a series of laws that will cause more problems to the very people who are trying to help with neglected pets. If you really want to send the message, increase the punishment for those found guilty of abusing the animals in the first place. Not increased regulations on pet owners and animal shelters.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2013 8:50 a.m. PST

Problem wiith laws punishing animal abusers is that too many people still think that since animals are animals and are "owned", that the owner can do what he wants with them.

Add to the mental confusion of some folks is that animals can be "stock" and/or "pets" and you get a percentage of the population that wants to increase punishment and another percentage of the population that is up in arms to defend the right of the "owner" to treat "their" animals as they wish.

Unless someone is caught red-handed mistreating an animal it is difficult to make the general population see it as a serious crime, thus most abusers, even when known, get off free or lightly.

Make ones glad that we've progressed to the point that children, women and blacks are no longer "owned". Even sadder when one realizes that the first attempts to prevent child abuse in the country had to use early laws designed to protect animals.

That is no excuse for poor laws, however.


Roderick Robertson Fezian07 Oct 2013 9:17 a.m. PST

I don't see how either of those proposed laws would have prevented some whackjob from abusing a 2-year old dog, nor given any greater punishment if he gets caught.

With luck, the People and Commonwealth of Massachusetts will come to their senses and vote "no".

I bet dog breeders will have something to say if there is to be "no private transfer of ownership".

Problem wiith laws punishing animal abusers is that too many people still think that since animals are animals and are "owned", that the owner can do what he wants with them.

Charge the jerk (when they find him) with dumping bio-hazardous material. That'll really put a spoke in his wagon, and not touch off any "pet vs. dumb animal" debate.

Parzival07 Oct 2013 9:29 a.m. PST

It's impossible for a law to prevent animal abuse; it merely makes it possible to punish the abuser. Unfortunately, too many politicians think they can create "preemptive" laws that will stop abuse/criminal activity (not just animal abuse, but many other activities, too). The problem is that those who are likely to commit crimes will simply ignore these laws, as they're already ignoring whatever laws are on the books in the first place. They won't go through a shelter, they won't take an animal to a vet, they won't get tags, rabies shots, whatever because they already don't care about the laws.
The best thing is to actually prosecute abusers, publicly and under a media glare, with great shame attached, and with a level of punishment significant enough to make other potential abusers change their actionsó make the crime not worth the time.
But no law, however worded or crafted, will ever protect animals 100%, for the simple reason that some people are just sick Bleeped texts to begin with.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2013 9:39 a.m. PST

Punish the bad guys and don't over regulate everyone else.

Sound good for more than just pets.


Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Oct 2013 10:13 a.m. PST

I agree with Parzival and VCarter. Law is not capable of preventing crime. That is not possible. The person who abused the dog was already disregarding existing laws. Adding more will not change their behavior.
Prosecute abusers. Enforce laws that already exist. It's a shame it's so hard to catch the abusers. But that should motivate us to punish the few we do catch. Not let them off the hook.
We really need to resist the urge to write more laws. Especially in an area that is already so well covered. While I'm sure those proposing such new laws are well meaning, all they're really doing is making it harder or impossible for good folks to do good things.
Besides, making a law that forbids private transfer of pets is unenforceable. Thus an exercise in stupidity.
If you want to help. Be helpful. If you want to make yourself feel better. Take in a stray. But otherwise, stay out of the way.

Cold Steel Inactive Member07 Oct 2013 10:20 a.m. PST

Politicians never consider the Law of Unintended Consequences. Over-regulating the law abiding citizens only makes the problem worse. After instituting similar regulations at our county shelter, the number of animals in residence skyrocketed. I and lots of friends no longer get animals from the shelters because they require home inspections, heavy fees and lots of other requirements that are unwarranted intrusions on our privacy. We live on the first country road out of town and regularly have animals dumped on the side of the road. We used to take them to the shelter, but not since the shelter instituted a fee to drop off unwanted animals. Now, anything that the coyotes don't get usually gets shot when they go after the small livestock.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2013 12:21 p.m. PST

Harsh penalties for those convicted can cause a change in behavior, even criminals perform a cost / benefit analysis of their behavior. Also, a long jail term keeps the criminal away from animals for an extended period so they can't abuse them. Those who abuse animals often escalate to abuse humans.
Laws should reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. It is good to drop unwanted animals off at the shelter, so don't charge for that behavior. It is bad to dump animals, so make that a criminal offense. Increased penalties for subsequent offenses so those that don't modify their behavior get more punishment.
Unless, of course, you can play football.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
SGT Says blog

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2013 1:40 p.m. PST

All of our cats are 'dump off's', since we live in a
rural area on a gravel road.

The dog isn't a 'dump,' but she was running loose with a
pack (not feral, thank goodness !)

We don't abandon them (someone already did that), but we
do quarantine them (in-house) until we can get them to
the vet and examined.

Once they vet sound, we get their shots up to date,
arrange for neuter/spay, and get 'em on the schedule for
regular checkups.

And if I ever see someone in the act of 'dumping,'
he/she will need four new tires and a new windshield.

Our gravel road is private property, and we do target
shoot out here.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2013 5:27 p.m. PST

There are enough good laws on the books to punish evil-doers.
Bad examples do not indicate the need for new laws. All you have to do is enforce the old ones, to the max.

jdginaz07 Oct 2013 6:38 p.m. PST

The six most dangerous words in the English language are "there ought to be a law…"

Personal logo nvdoyle Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2013 8:15 p.m. PST

" too many people still think that since animals are animals and are "owned", that the owner can do what he wants with them."

Well, that's the ascendancy of usus over fructus for you.

"progressed to the point that children, women and blacks are no longer "owned"".

Returned, not progressed.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2013 8:45 p.m. PST

I have little faith in politicians that "do" something to solve some odd case. My cats both came from shelters, but my dogs came from breeders and when we had a litter we sold them privately. State intrusion would have done nothing but make it more expensive.

Mardaddy Inactive Member08 Oct 2013 3:51 p.m. PST

Related – do your research with "no-kill" shelters.

At least here in California, advertised NK shelters are the rage and get all sorts of stepped-up government funding, more and higher amount donations, and celebrities flock to be included on their various "lists."

BUT – overcrowding makes for horrid conditions and they routinely "clean house" handing over animals to "regular" shelters and rotating newer animals in.

Google "no kill scam" and get educated – not saying they are ALL that way – YMMV.

Gearhead Inactive Member16 Oct 2013 4:58 p.m. PST

Yeah, I love animals, but I think NK shelters are a bad idea. I also look askance at people who get all in a frothy rage at the idea of putting an animal down relatively quickly and painlessly rather than prolong its existence in bleak conditions. There ARE fates worse than death…

thatotherguy Inactive Member20 Oct 2013 9:38 p.m. PST

I'll give you that Mardaddy and Gearhead. However (yeah, one of those exception to the rule stories), our latest addition had been in a NK shelter for eight months when we brought her home. True NK shelters are a godsend for older dogs, Misty was billed as being seven, we and the vet think that she is closer to ten and that the shelter was saying that so she could get ANY home.

Misty found her "forever home" with us, many older dogs would not without the NK shelters, so few people are willing to make the emotional investment in a family member who might only have a few more good years.

I strongly urge anyone who thinks that they don't have time to train a young dog or the energy to keep up with a puppy, to consider an older dog. Our younger dog loves her sister and we do too. They'll love you just the same (just moving a little slower), and ours at least have been very grateful.

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