May 07, 2008

Dog Starving: not in Nebraska

From Omaha, Nebraska's Kathy Sarantos Niver at Action 3 News comes this story about an Omaha man facing felony charges for leaving his dog outside to starve and freeze to death. Sure, Keion Shelton is a jerk, but should he be made a felon? Here's an excerpt of Kathy's story:
Police say Keion Shelton left town for a week in February and left his dog chained up outdoors to a utility pole. Shelton lived at 7027 North 33rd Street. The dog died.

A spokesperson for the Nebraska Humane Society tells Action 3 News the pitbull died of starvation and hypothermia. He reportedly was unable to reach his food and water, which had frozen, and "was exposed to consistent overnight temperatures below ten degrees, without adequate shelter."

A law passed by the legislature in 2007 makes it a class 4 felony to abandon an animal resulting in serious injury, illness or death. This is the first prosecution in Douglas County based on this new law.
As long as they don't break any other rules, pet owners in Nebraska are free to kill their animals by any means that isn't cruel. Folks usually shoot them with a firearm of sufficient caliber to cause near instant death. Its usually done to end suffering, but the pet being in extremis isn't a requirement. Perhaps the mutt is just useless. You can legally shoot your dog just for the hell of it, if you want. I've had to shoot a few dogs and cats, ones that were sick or injured or had turned bad. Cats are easier. Dogs have a way of looking at you...

For them as are squeamish about dropping the hammer on Rover or Fluffy, or that live in some wussy neighborhood that frowns upon shooting, there is always the Veterinarian. Its all pretty clinical; you don't have to watch if you don't want. The pet needn't be suffering or even sick, the owner makes the decision, not the vet. As with shooting, you can do it to punish the pet or on a whim; motive doesn't count. In the end, Rufus and Fido wind up dead in a barrel like the victims of an internet serial killer. You pay the vet and you are home free. No foul play. No crime.

It isn't done much here, besides with livestock that have been made into 'pets', but Nebraskans may kill and eat their pets if they like. As long as the slaughter isn't cruel, Fido-san can become a delicious meal. Nebraskans of Korean heritage can indulge in their rich home-made dog meat stews without running afoul of the law. (Just so they don't steal the neighbor's dog.)

The Law: is it a ass?
I agree that animal cruelty is wrong. I disagree that it ought to be a crime at all, let alone a felony. This is the kind of offense to the common decency that calls for a home remedy. Where were this shameful Omaha dog-starver's neighbors?

This jerk's neighbors should have taken the dog away from him. In fact, it would have been more humane if one of them had shot it, to end its suffering. If the barbaric butt-head didn't like it, the bigger of his neighbors should have 'straightened him out'. No government involvement required.

Why didn't the neighbors prevent the dog's awful death? I'll bet dollars to doughnuts they were afraid of getting jammed up with the law or sued. Now we will have a local jerk converted into a felon. Where is he going to get a job? I guess there will be a giver-mint program for him.

Revolting development
Since the old feeder believes animals to be private property, the enjoyment of which should be minimally constrained by the law, the concept of Vegetable Rights seems truly far fetched. I saw a link to this Weekly Standard story, The Silent Scream of the Asparagus, at Hot Air. An excerpt:
At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the “dignity” of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called “plant rights” is being seriously debated.
Read the whole thing (2 pages) if you have the stomach for it. I gagged at the part where a farmer wrongfully "decapitates" some wildflowers. I can see lawyers lining up to be court-appointed guardian ad flora so they can file suits for plant plaintiffs. Green prosecutors will fill the news with chlorophyll drenched murder scenes. Farmers in handcuffs.

As Abe at Don't Let Me Stop You says, "you can't make this stuff up."

I'm sure someone, somewhere is trying to figure out a way to give vegetables the right to vote. They outnumber us. Even if all species of animals could vote, the plants would still have a huge majority. We will all be forced into ethical fruitarianism.
In a totally unrelated matter, the old feeder has heard a rumor that CBS evening news anchor Katie Couric is going to be replaced by Charo. Cuchi-cuchi.


  1. its  so  sad  pics  the  animals !


  3. Worst article I have ever read.. Where is the proof for your random bullshit statements? Best thing anyone could do would be to take you out the back and shoot you - see if anyone complains then.


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