Outrage over animal cruelty understandable

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2010

While we would never assume that comments posted on our website are representative of the opinions of our readers as a whole, it is interesting to see what website users think about certain issues.

One such issue on Tuesday was the animal cruelty charge that has been brought against a Clanton woman after she allegedly cut the throat of a neighbors’ dog.

Chilton County Humane Society Director Joe Murphy lobbied the district attorney’s office to levy a felony charge against the suspect, and the first three comments on the story took the same stance.

“Mr. district attorney, this is a felonious action,” read one.

“Wow. This most definitely is a felony if I’ve ever heard of one.” And another, “Definitely a felony! Why is that even a question?”

But as the discussion went along, other commenters expressed amazement that some people would seemingly be more concerned about the dog than about the condition of the lady charged with the crime–or that people could be more upset about a dog being harmed than if it was a human who had been attacked.

As a dog owner, I can say that reporting this story was difficult, and my first thought was how upset I would be if someone harmed my dog in such a way.

But that reaction doesn’t mean I regard animals as highly as humans. The crime would be infinitely more deplorable had it been a child instead of a dog.

And as for the suspect, if she is guilty as charged, then I feel badly for her and her family, that she would be capable of cutting the throat of a trusting animal.

That’s the thing about those of us attached to a good dog (and I realize they’re not all good, but that’s always for reasons out of the dog’s control): we realize how innocent these creatures are.

A good dog will walk up to any stranger, tail wagging, and will have a new best friend with nothing more than a scratch on the head. A good dog trusts its two-legged friends to take care of it, always doing what is best even though baths and trips to the vet are not always pleasant.

Any time that kind of animal is harmed, a little outrage is understandable.