Animal Rights

Virginia Can Do More to Improve Animal Welfare

The state legislature is considering a number of measures, but none that deal with police officers killing dogs.

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"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog," goes an old saying mistakenly attributed to Harry S. Truman. In fact, Truman once gave away a cocker spaniel puppy that had been given to him, earning him the enmity of dog-lovers across the country.

Lawmakers in Virginia will face a slightly different test of their sympathies this year when the General Assembly takes up numerous animal-welfare bills.

Among them is a measure (SB 28) proposed by Republican state Sen. Bill Stanley, which would prohibit giving state funds to any organization that conducts "medically unnecessary" research on animals that causes "significant pain or distress." The bill was prompted by revelations about experiments at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center that induced heart attacks in dogs and puppies and forced them to run on treadmills.

"Some of the experiments are known to inflict severe pain in the dogs and puppies—some are as young as 6 months—while withholding pain relief," a Times-Dispatch story reported in October.

Stanley also has introduced SB 32, which would create a state database listing Virginia residents convicted of felony cruelty to animals. The list would be publicly available—and therefore helpful to those who offer rescued animals for adoption. Republican Sen. Richard Stuart has introduced the same measure under a different bill number, SB 212.

Democratic Del. John Bell is introducing a measure (HB 646) to restrict tethering—i.e., tying a dog up outside. Last year Bell introduced a broader measure that was killed in subcommittee on a voice vote, after some frankly ludicrous objections (e.g., what about sled dogs?).

This year's more narrowly tailored bill prohibits leaving animals tethered during freezing or dangerously hot weather, when the owner is off the property, and at night—and it makes exceptions for work animals. It also prohibits certain types of tethers, such as those that are too short, or heavy chains.

As one animal-welfare advocate pointed out, this still lets owners leave animals penned up in small enclosures such as chain-link cages, exposed to bitter cold or punishing heat. But it's a step forward—the modest sort of step most likely to pass a legislature that prefers incremental change to the radical kind.

Democratic Del. Mark Levine has introduced HB 425, which forbids people convicted of animal cruelty to own companion animals, and requires them to attend anger-management or similar treatment unless a court finds they no longer present a danger to animals or to others.

Another measure (HB 593), introduced by Del. Wendy Gooditis, creates a felony offense when someone who has been convicted of animal cruelty in the past five years kills a horse through cruelty or malicious neglect.

Other measures address the business end of animal welfare. For instance, Democratic Del. Jennifer Boysko has introduced HB 270, which lets localities prevent pet shops from selling animals from breeders. Democratic Del. Dawn Adams (who beat Manoli Loupassi in the 68th District and who will become the state's first openly lesbian delegate) has introduced HB 713, which prohibits commercial dog breeders from keeping dogs in cages with exposed wire floors. A couple of measures (HB 79 and HB 94) require boarding establishments to ensure that an employee is present during group play.

There are still other measures—such as ones forbidding dogs from riding on your lap while you drive (SB 97) and allowing pets in wineries (HB 286). Space prevents an exhaustive recitation of them all, but animal-welfare groups such as the SPCA will be happy to give you a rundown. The ones mentioned above, however, probably qualify as the most important.

It's worth noting legislators don't often pull ideas for new legislation out of thin air: Most bills are prompted—by a constituent's request, or a news article, or concerns raised by state agencies, the business community, or nonprofits.

That does not make all legislation, ipso facto, worthy of passage: Just because the umbrella industry asks the state to ban ponchos doesn't mean it should. But animal-welfare legislation often is driven by necessity. (For a couple of cases of dogs left out in the recent cold snap, e.g., go to goo.gl/iC8ViW and goo.gl/W8aDi1.)

If there's one bill missing from the list, it's a measure to address the all-too-richly-documented problem of police officers shooting dogs (as many as 30 a day, by one Department of Justice expert's estimate; in Detroit, just two officers have shot more than 100 between them).

Often, the dogs are merely playful or curious, not aggressive. But fearful officers shoot anyway, because they usually are immune from consequences.

In one case in Henrico five years ago, officers went to a house to notify a family that its son had been killed—and shot the family dog when they arrived.

Police officers have every right to protect themselves. But if ordinary citizens can face consequences for mistreating harmless pets, then those who enforce the law should, too.

They say a dog is man's best friend. It's too bad that often doesn't work the other way around.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  1. I would go further (or perhaps in the other direction). It should be illegal to train a dog to attack humans.

    1. FoE, I have been around long enough to detect sarcasm, but I still have to respond, just in case this really becomes a thing.

      Banning “attack” dogs sounds good, but of course details matter. What does it mean exactly to “attack”. Can you no longer have a dog for personal protection? How about bite-work sports (e.g., schutzhund and ring sport) that are more akin to to martial arts with dogs? Military working dogs? Most* police dogs? All these dogs look scary, but the bottom line is that all are about control of the dog. Without training, a high-drive dog may become dangerous, and serious dog bites likely will increase.

      * Some cops with dogs don’t give a shit about control and are truly dangerous. Obedience is optional and not much fun to these guys. These people obviously will be exempt from any ban.

      1. My comments rarely ever translate into actual legislation. Almost never.

        1. Well then I’m going to stop voting for you.

          1. I agree with most of his philosophy, but what has he been able to accomplish in Washington DC?

            1. I will vote for Fist of Etiquette, as soon as he announces his support for the policy of…

              Don’t tax you,
              Don’t tax me,
              Tax the fella
              Behind the tree!

      2. “Banning “attack” dogs sounds good, but of course details matter. ”

        In Ontaria, ownership of only two animals is banned: pit bulls and killer whales. I’ve yet to hear of any complaints coming from the animal community.

        1. any word on killer tomatoes?

        2. You don’t hear any complaints from the animal community about *anything*. Cows don’t complain about being raised for slaughter – so that’s all right then.

        3. ‘Pit Bull’ is, of course, not a singular thing but do go on.

          1. Yes he is! All of Miami loves him!

        4. So you’re saying sharks with laser beams on their heads are okay then?

          1. Just don’t put the laser beam on an orca.

            1. What about Aliens that lay face-hugger eggs in you and then the pupa pop out of your chest? Are they OK?

      3. Re: MDBBTY,

        What does it mean exactly to “attack

        Clearly any dog with a pistol grip and a magazine that carries more than 10 bites is an assault dog, if one follows Sen. Feinstein’s definition.

        1. Just has to be black with a thing that goes up.

        2. May people think an “attack dog” Is a dog that looks scary and engaging in bite work. Not really different from an assault weapon.

          There are serious movements to ban “inhumane practices” as they see it. Pinch collars and electric training collars, for example, are banned in parts of Europe. After all, all dogs are basically Fluffy the Cockapoo looking for a cookie.

          And don’t even get me started on my dog’s bayonet mount!

          1. My pet bunny waaaabbbbit has a pistol grip, is that OK?

          2. Chihuahuas are the worst

    2. I would go even further. Cops should be treated exactly the same as civilians. The only exception: they are immune to false imprisonment torts when pursuing a suspect.

      1. No! No exceptions. In fact, I would go even further and do away with government monopoly on police. Let everyone have the same rights and duties as police. If the police have more lucrative things to do (speed traps) than even come out to my house to investigate a burglary, then I should be able to, on my own, with all the same authority.

        The icing on the cake is to let anyway initiate a warrant, appealable only as to not being relevant, minimal, or clear; with the proviso that if execution exceeds the written warrant, the victim gets to turn it on to the executor with the same excess, and this also applies to all warrants by the losing party.

        Police would be a helluva lot more polite if they knew that throwing you to the ground, slamming you face down on the cop car, or making a mess of your house while you sit outside in the cold at night in your underwear — would bounce right back on them.

    3. I didn’t have to train my dog to attack joggers and bicycles.

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  2. While I agree with the thrust of your argument, Hinkle (won’t someone think of the puppies?), I wonder just how libertarian it is to burden animal owners with onerous regulations detailing where they can stick Bowser for the night. This sort of thing should probably be left to the owner.

    1. Agreed. Reason does a good job focusing on how regulating and criminalizing parenting decisions causes far more harm than good. The same applies to pets.

    2. “I wonder just how libertarian it is to burden animal owners with onerous regulations detailing where they can stick Bowser for the night.”

      I don’t wonder at all. None of the government’s (or my) business.

      1. Pet owners should be exempt from the law.

        1. You’re basically saying that those in power should make rules for *everyone* on everything – just so that no one is ‘exempt from the law’ and/or that once a law is in existence it can never be repealed – or the group of people affected by that law will now be ‘exempt from the law’.

          Its sad that you don’t realize this.

          1. “Its sad that you don’t realize this.”

            trueman is willing to have people shot for treating animals contrary to his tastes.
            IOWs, trueman is willing to have people shot based on his opinions.
            trueman is a slimy piece of shit. And ignorant besides.

          2. “You’re basically saying that those in power should make rules for *everyone* on everything – just so that no one is ‘exempt from the law'”

            Sorry for the sarcasm. I was basically saying that pet owners should not be exempt from laws that govern the treatment of pets.

            1. Pets are property. If you can sic the State on someone who leaves a dog out in the hot sun or cold rain, why not the same for cows or pigs? If you can sic the State on someone who kills a dog, why not everyone who kills a cow? If it’s illegal to eat dogs, why is it legal to eat cows? Why are horses in-between?

              Fuck the state, and fuck off slavers.

              1. “Some animals are more equal than others.”

              2. Run fir office on a dog eating platform if the issue is so important to you.

            2. mtrueman|1.15.18 @ 3:36PM|#
              “I was basically saying that pet owners should not be exempt from laws that govern the treatment of pets.”

              You are basically saying your opinion is sufficient to have someone shot, scumbag.

              1. What on earth have you got against having someone shot? You’ve obviously never tried it.

            3. Then pet owners shouldn’t be allowed to take their pets into supermarkets, Home Depot, Target, or other places where they are a nuisance.

            4. Nobody is saying they shouldn’t.

              The argument here is whether or not those laws should exist in the first place. And/or why should laws for animals kept as pets differ from those of animals kept for work or resources?

              If the laws don’t exist then pet owners wouldn’t be ‘exempt from the laws governing the treatment of pets’.

              1. Adapt or die. Things change. It’s the cruelest law of the universe.

                1. Ah, you’re go to canard when you lose an argument. Pretend like it was never a normative dispute to begin and defer to the idiotic notion that if a falsity becomes popular enough, it becomes true.

                  You’re such a deep thinker trueman.

                  1. “You’re such a deep thinker trueman.”

                    I’m glad you’re still taking the trouble to read my comments. This animal protection thing is just a natural outgrowth of the Enlightenment which everyone here celebrates as a high point in human development. Adapt or die, grandpa!

      2. Dogs in wineries?

        1. The howleries got too noisy.

    3. Libertarianism is weak on animal cruelty. Even Walter Block admits this.

      1. Libertarianism has a weakness with parenting too, as it always seems to default to treating children as the property of their parents.

        1. “Libertarianism has a weakness with parenting too, as it always seems to default to treating children as the property of their parents.”

          Statists are more than happy to removed kids from their parents because someone didn’t like what they saw, right, statist?
          Statists are evil incarnate.

          1. Perhaps instead of belonging to the state or to their parents, children should belong to themselves.

            1. Children belong to their parents until a certain age. That age is a mobile target depending on when the child learns that emancipation is a possibility, but most children are willing to wait a few extra years to save themselves the legal hassle.

              1. “Children belong to their parents until a certain age.”

                Says who? Since they have the power to choose the owners of people, can they say you belong to me?

                1. Says everyone who has children. Especially if you’ve ever watched a child calmly and intentionally eat a scented candle.

                  They are animals up until a certain point, although they are always an animal with the potential for sentience. Even while plenty of them never actually make it there, even the youngest human has more ‘value’ than an animal.

                  If you disagree, feel free to bring us an animal that’s written a thesis on the topic of being eaten and how they feel about it. I’d love to ‘meet the meat’ so to speak.

                  1. So if children are just animals and property, can parents eat their children?

                    1. Only with a side of string beans and a nicely aged bottle of Mad Dog 20-20! I also recommend Cheez Whizz as a topping!


                    2. So if children are just animals and property, can parents eat their children?

                      They are animals that will likely not be animals forever, whereas animals will never become people. Ergo, no, they can not legally eat their children. (Or, at least, one would assume it would be illegal to do so after the point where abortion is no longer an option. Before that point, who knows. Go ahead and try it out, should be an interesting court case…)

                      I agree with Stormy. If children belong to their parents, can their parents sell them?

                      Yes, you can do that right now today. RE: law’s surrounding surrogate mothers. They even make a profit. You can even go out and ‘buy’ one from any adoption agency that think’s you’re not a psycho or give one away to the same. Makes sense to me, since creating a child is pretty low cost and literally any retard with functioning organs can do it.

                      Now, if anyone can determine with precision where the line is between senseless ‘childhood’ and a thinking ‘adult’ congrats because you have solved a riddle that’s plagued mankind for the entirely of it’s existence. It is a line, but it’s an ambiguous line in nebulous sand.

                2. I agree with Stormy. If children belong to their parents, can their parents sell them?

                  1. Paloma|1.15.18 @ 4:53PM|#
                    “I agree with Stormy. If children belong to their parents, can their parents sell them?”

                    Can I let all the toddlers vote in your election?
                    Hint, for the dimwits: Humans are not all of the same agency.

              2. The fuck? Children are not property. Parents have guardianship rights to their child, which allows then to temporarily violate the rights of the child in order to prevent the child from coming to harm. For example, they can restrain the child to prevent the child from running inro traffic. However, they can’t put a collar on the child.

            2. Stormy Dragon|1.15.18 @ 3:37PM|#
              “Perhaps instead of belonging to the state or to their parents, children should belong to themselves.”

              You idiot, WIH is that supposed to mean?
              Is that some truemanesque bullshit we’re to take as profound?

          2. Because kids don’t have rights, riiiiggggghhhht. If I want to punch my kid in the face I should be able to do that without government intervention. /s

        2. “Kids, who do you belong to?”
          “You and mom”

          Solved

          1. So can you sell you kids?

            Force them to go work in coal mine?

            Make them marry Roy Moore?

            1. You want to make a bid?

              Force them under threat of punishment to do stuff all the time.

              Not an issue.

              1. Not an issue.

                Slavery has never been an issue for the slaveholders.

                1. Extra chores for bad attitudes too.
                  And no right of appeal.

                  1. I have two daughters who are now grown up. As a parent I always recognized that they belonged to themselves. That is precisely why we RAISE children and teach them how to control themselves, how to show respect, how to have self discipline, and how to interact with others. We also give them a good foundation for later self esteem and show them cause and effect, e.g. you have talents they need to be developed. The whole purpose of this is because one day they will go out into the world as independent adults and hopefully how you raised them will enable them to live happily and productively, as well as contributing something to society and the world.

                    NO pet does this, I don’t care how intelligent and fun they are. They belong to you in a different sense. They are NOT your “furbaby” or child, no matter how much you bond with them. And don’t expect everyone else to treat them the same as they would your actual child, never mind their own.

                    1. Good for you.
                      You raised your brats your way
                      We’ll raise our brats our way.
                      And we sure do consider our kids as belonging to us and, of course, vice versa.

                2. Stormy Dragon|1.15.18 @ 4:15PM|#
                  “Slavery has never been an issue for the slaveholders.”

                  Trying for record-setting stawmen today?

                  1. He claims to own his children and the power to force them to do whatever he likes and to punish them if they fail to comply with his demands.

                    In what way is that not slavery?

                    1. In the way that they are incapable of caring for themselves.

                    2. Many slaveholders justified their ownership on the basis that the slaves would be unable to care for themselves outside slavery.

                      Even in cases where the children are actually incapable, that is a duty on the parent to provide for the child, not a duty on the child to cater to the parent’s demands.

                    3. Okay, I’ll play with you…

                      What is your preferred methodology of child rearing?

                    4. Parents have an obligation to feed, house, and clothe their children. They have a limited power to use force when immediately necessary for safety of the child.

                      Everything beyond that ought to be based on negotiation, just as it would be with any other person. e.g. you can’t beat your kid for not going to boy scouts. You can choose to stop letting them borrow one of your cell phones.

                      Furthermore, in situations like custody, the default assumption should not be what the state wants, or what the parents want, but what the kid wants.

                    5. Note that this would result in 0% for 99% of parents because most parents don’t have to rely on force to get their kids to do what they’re asking them to do.

                    6. “result in 0% change for 99% of parents”

                    7. We’ll continue as slaveholders.
                      But thanks anyway.

                    8. Most would consider it an obvious truth that children are very different in terms of autonomy than an adult, but leave it to stormy to try and say that a 40 year old slave is the same as a two year old and think the issue with the comparison is the slaveholders.

                      Sorry, Bro, your analogy sucks and your attempt to say that a two year old has all the capacity for thought and reason as a forty year old is ludicrous at face value.

                      Slaves were considered inhuman or subhuman was the problem, and it was a problem because it was demonstrably not true, but no one says children aren’t human. We say things that are empirically true, such as their brains aren’t developed and their bones are made of a different substance.

                      But no, they’re totes the same right?

                      /sarc

                    9. Thank you, Stormy Dragon, for explaining what should be obvious. Also, I am surprised this thread has not yet descended into an argument about spanking.

                    10. “In the way that they are incapable of caring for themselves.”

                      Don’t give him any hints. Let him go right down that rabbit hole.

                    11. See above. People are confusing ownership and guardianship. For fuck’s sake, you would think at least some of you smartasses would read some basis libertarian theory on children.

                    12. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, some people think they should be able to beat their kids half to death or keep them out of the hospital when they have a 105F fever and basically dead if they don’t get medical attention because “god’s got this one” . Yeah, some people don’t understand anything about a spectrum in life, it’s all about black and white.

        3. Germane to the conversation…

          PERRIS, Calif. (KABC) — Thirteen victims, ranging in age from 2 to 29 years old, were kept shackled to their beds amid foul surroundings in a Perris home by their parents, sheriff’s officials said.

          1. OMG, the libtard state is infringing on the sacred right of those parents to raise their children however they think best! THIS IS JUST LIKE THE SOVIET UNION! /sarc

        4. “Always” is grossly unfair.

        5. No, children are somewhere in between having a full set of rights and being property. So parents can’t do things causing permanent damage like cutting the kid’s legs off or locking them in a dark room for 10 years, but can spank and ground them.

          Yeah, libertarianism doesn’t have a perfect solution to exactly where they are in that range, but neither does any other political philosophy. It’s awfully cheeky of you leftists to attack libertarianism for not having a coherent rational philosophy for 100% of human activity, when your own politics are utterly incoherent and irrational from square one.

        6. This is false. Libertarians (and all sane people, really) default to children being the wards of their parents, not property. Is anyone here arguing that parents should be allowed to drown or rape or eat their kids? No. Parents have the right to make decisions for their children because, hey, there children, they’re too fucking dumb to make their own decisions. Doesn’t mean they don’t have basic rights.

          But go on making shit up as you please, you seem to enjoy it.

      2. Animals are property. There is not such thing as being cruel to property.

        Humans really need to get over this denial that we mistreat animals by housing them for food, neutering and spaying dogs and cats, and eating animals. If any humans were put through the same stuff, the bitching would be endless.

        Use free market to not buy from food producers that abuse the animals unnecessarily. Private parties that abuse domestic pets, use public shame to correct their behavior.

        1. Cool, can I play too?

          Republicans are property. There is not such thing as being cruel to property.

          1. You’re an idiot if you place animals on the same level as humans. Fact.

            The only reason humans should give a single flying fuck about animal cruelty is because it tells us something about the human in that situation. Who gives a fuck what the animal thinks, they are food.

            1. I recognize that a dog is fundamentally different than a person.

              I also recognize that a dog is fundamentally different than a lamp.

              1. Stormy Dragon|1.15.18 @ 3:51PM|#
                “I recognize that a dog is fundamentally different than a person.
                I also recognize that a dog is fundamentally different than a lamp.”

                Goodie for you.
                You are also stupid enough to be more than willing to have someone shot because of your opinion.
                Fuck off, asshole.

              2. I also recognize that a lamp and a banana are fundamentally different too.

                Still property.

              3. Yes, but the devil is the in the details that you would much prefer to gloss over to make some sort of tortured comparison between childhood and slavery.

                The main reason why it’s illegal to harm animals? Because it’s an indicator of sociopathy in humans and because it’s an easy sell for animals that our society considers pets. No more, no less. If that law interfered with the majority opinion of people eating a food they love, you’d see a difference.

                You know how I know that? Because in certain countries it’s legal to eat dogs and illegal to eat cows. Is it really that complex for you? How do you open doors?

            2. Exactly, animals do not have any rights whatsoever.

              1. “Force [pet owners] under threat of punishment to do stuff all the time.

                Not an issue.”

                1. “Force [pet owners] under threat of punishment to do stuff all the time.
                  Not an issue.”

                  By changing the subject, you simply showed that they are not equivalent.
                  But you’re sort of stupid, so that’s no surprise.

            3. You’re an idiot if you place animals on the same level as humans. Fact.

              That is not a fact.

              You’ve presented a consequentialist justification of one category of crime, based upon shared sentiment and culture. Why isn’t this applied to other crimes, such as those concerning harm to other human beings, with the same subjectivity and fragility?

              Basically, why should I give a fuck what another person thinks any more than a dog or cat? Those persons are just workers or entertainment or threats or goddamn slowwalkers. (or, in a pinch, food)

              1. Unlabelable MJGreen|1.15.18 @ 7:46PM|#
                “You’re an idiot if you place animals on the same level as humans. Fact.
                That is not a fact.”

                Yes, it is a fact. Humans have moral agency, the other animals don’t.

                1. 1. That still does not make BYODB’s completely subjective judgment a “fact.”

                  2. Even if you can come up with a strict definition of “moral agency,” I don’t see how you can prove factually that humans have it while a dog or pig or dolphin does not.

                  1. D’oh, and of course, 3. If humans have moral agency and other animals don’t, so what? Still a personal judgment made by the human observer, not a Natural Delineation of Worth handed down by Science.

        2. “There is not such thing as being cruel to property.”

          Don’t sell yourself short. I’m sure you could cruelly mistreat your pet if you really put your mind to it.

        3. Animals are property. There is not such thing as being cruel to property.

          If the property is sentient, then I think there is such a thing. You really don’t think that anything a person might do to a dog, for example, could ever be considered cruel?

          I’m not saying poor treatment of animals should be criminal necessarily. But many animals appear to have the capacity to suffer, and I think that makes cruelty to animals a real thing.

        4. Animals are property.

          It seems to me that, historically, humans frequently considered other humans to be property.

          There is not such thing as being cruel to property.

          1. Charles Easterly|1.15.18 @ 6:07PM|#
            “It seems to me that, historically, humans frequently considered other humans to be property.”

            Did you have a point other than a sort of slimy piece of innuendo?

        5. Use free market to not buy from food producers that abuse the animals unnecessarily. Private parties that abuse domestic pets, use public shame to correct their behavior.

          Use free market to not buy from employers that enslave, beat, and kill their workers. Private parties that rape and murder people, use public shame to correct their behavior.

    4. I’m also inclined to agree. I like animals, and all these things sound great, but that’s a lot of laws. The one about tacking on an extra crime to a prior felon if caught neglecting a horse sounds dubiously useful. Seriously, how many laws am I breaking per day?

      1. I like animals, too. Usually served with vegetables and a potato of some sort.

  3. Cops kill dogs cause fytw. Cops in general suck. Our armed forces have much more stricter rules of engagement, and far more adverse consequences if they violate those rules

  4. That bill bans metal chains for dogs. wtf is that?

    1. no one likes punk dogs

    2. Its a legislative trap.

      People who train dogs to attack but need to keep them on chains to prevent them from chewing thru cannot legally, so the dogs break out and bite someone. This in turn brings the authorities to your residence where you are hiding some crime, the government is sure of it.

      1. I suppose these fuckstains (the politicians, that is) have never heard of metal cable.

  5. They probably meant 10 pound chains per link

  6. One thing they could do is ban PETA from existing in their borders. That’d save plenty of dogs.

  7. Waitaminute: VA elects a lesbian, and the first thing she does is crack down on breeders?!!!!

    [/attempted humor]

    Kevin R

  8. Speaking of dogs in cold snaps that breed related their. A Husky will fight you tying to bring it in to a warm house when it can play outside in the cold.

    1. Raise a Husky in warm environment is a cruelty

  9. LEGALIZE COCKFIGHTING

    1. Move to San Francisco.

    2. Move to my living room on Wednesday.

  10. An acquaintance of mine was a dog handler during his military service. He loved the dog assigned to him but resented it too. Not only did the dog outrank him, it had better sleeping quarters and received better rations.

    1. And I bet the dog got its ears scratched more often, too. Sad.

      1. Seriously, it sucks, but perhaps the military sees humans as more disposable than trained animals? I’m just guessing here, of course, but it would fit in with a cynical view of things.

        1. which is harder/costlier to replace?

        2. Its a joke and its not true.

        3. Assuming you’re not joking, the military definitely sees the canines as disposable. Their handlers of course have great bonds with them, but it’s the dogs job to go into a tunnel or spider hole and get killed if it reveals the presence of hostiles.

          A great documentary on this subject is War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend. Very moving but it definitely show’s how the dog’s job is to be sent in to die so the soldier’s life is spared.

            1. To my knowledge, the US military has never finished a deployment by euthanizing all the soldiers in the unit because it was cheaper than shipping them back to the states.

              That was standard practice for military animals prior to the passage of H.R.5314 in 2000.

  11. If Lassie does not want to be tethered, he should eschew the bondage scene.

    1. Yup. no A.M links for us.

      1. So much for the private sector expecting results.

  12. officers went to a house to notify a family that its son had been killed?and shot the family dog when they arrived.

    *** scratches head ***

    Was … *that* the notification?

    1. See that dog? Well….

  13. Even when there’s a modestly competent state agency concerned with animals, they seem capricious. In Fairfax County, where Animal Control officers are actual police, they have processes that make it incredibly challenging to get them to come out.

    I knew from previous experience that the standard response from FCPD dispatchers is “we don’t do birds. Find some volunteer who cares.” So I wasn’t surprised when, upon finding a wounded hawk hiding under a chair on my front porch that I would have a challenge.

    When I called Animal Control, I did indeed get blown off. It took my saying, “I have a wounded federally-protected raptor suffering on my front porch. If you’re not going to send someone out, I’m going to fetch a firearm, and deal with it myself right now.” at which point I heard, “please hold” and had an actual Animal Control person come on the line. The Officer who eventually came out was the epitome of pleasant professionalism and told me “Even we can’t euthanize these except in certain emergencies or with special permission.”

    The one-size-fits-all methodology of government agencies isn’t well-equipped to deal with nuanced things like innovation or the conduct of science. Labs shouldn’t be inhumane, and it may not be a bad thing that techniques like the Draize test are falling out of favor, but the likelihood that the General Assembly will craft legislation that actually does anything useful, while minimizing undesirable unintended consequences seems pretty slim.

    1. Let the animal die on its own time table. We have no need to rush things along. We can afford to give it a chance to recover. An increased reverence for life is consonant with the Libertarian way of looking at things. The most precious property you own is your life, so there you go.

      1. That’s a great concept. But that animal “dying on its own timetable” can endanger strat, his family, pets, livestock, guests, employees, or a postal carrier or UPS driver making a delivery. And strat would be held responsible, because it’s under his front porch.

        1. That sounds fair enough to me. Who but strat should be held responsible for what happens on his property?

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  15. RIP.

    (CNN)Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer of the Irish band The Cranberries, died in London on Monday, according to a statement from her publicist.

    O’Riordan, who was 46, died “suddenly” according to the statement, but no details were given on the cause of her death.

  16. “If there’s one bill missing from the list, it’s a measure to address the all-too-richly-documented problem of police officers shooting dogs (as many as 30 a day, by one Department of Justice expert’s estimate; in Detroit, just two officers have shot more than 100 between them).”
    Thanks again to Reason for continuing to expose this shit. If big media covered this issue these politicians would be tripping over each other to propose legislation. The dog lover constituency in the U.S. is huge and crosses all party, racial, ethnic and economic lines. Unfortunately most don’t know this is even happening.

  17. There are already laws against cops murdering humans, but when they do it they almost never get prosecuted and get acquitted when they do.

    Let’s work on that problem first and get to the doggie murder laws later.

  18. The state legislature is considering a number of measures, but none that deal with police officers killing dogs.

    Reason embraces what we might call “Neolibertarianism”, a form of libertarianism where the answer to any problem is either more laws or growing the welfare state!

  19. we human don’t deserve dogs

  20. Cops have too much power in hands and some didn’t deserve it

  21. “Virginia Can Do More to Improve Animal Welfare
    The state legislature is considering a number of measures, but none that deal with police officers killing dogs.”

    Oh thank the Maker for the Alt Text. When I read the headline I thought Reason was about to devote an entire article to arguing for VA decriminalizing bestiality or some other such nonsense.

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