24 August, 2012

My Animal Legislation Wish List (Because We Can't Give Animal Abusers The Death Penalty)

Animal lovers may be the only people whose "love" causes the suffering, neglect and brutal deaths of the beloved. People who love rare coins or lava lamps or antiques and must fill their homes with these things don't cause suffering and death but people who "love" animals and feel that they just have to "own" pets are actually perpetuating animal suffering and death by providing puppy mills and breeders with a financial incentive to bring more cats and dogs into a world that already has more cats and dogs than it is able or willing to care for. So let me repeat what I said in my 1 July 2010 post: if you love animals, help reduce the commercial demand for dogs and cats by refusing to feed the breeding beast. Don't buy a cute kitten at a pet store. Don't buy a precious puppy. When your current pet dies, don't get another pet. Instead, consider becoming a foster home for rescued dogs and cats while their rescuers find them permanent homes. 

As a systems thinker, I know there are only two ways to reduce the number of neglected, abused and suffering animals. The first way would be to reduce the population of humans who breed animals, neglect animals, and torture animals and to reduce the number of irresponsible pet owners who don't spay and neuter their animals leaving them free bring more cats and dogs into a world for humans to abuse or neglect. 

But, as appealing as it is, hunting down and killing the people who neglect and abuse animals is illegal and would land the people who eliminated the abusers and neglecters in prison where we couldn't rescue and foster animals who need us which leaves us with one other way to reduce the number of animals who suffer neglect and abuse at the hands of humans: We must reduce the number of animals available to the abusers and neglecters. Toward that end, I've compiled a little legislative wish list which I intend to share with my state legislators. 

1. Pet "owners" would be required to spay and neuter their pets or pay a stiff fine. Attention Bonnie Brown, Barb Hatfield, et al., Google SB 250 and find that New York City already passed this kind of spay/neuter law and Californians are working on a statewide SB 250 spay/neuter law.

2. In West Virginia, it would be illegal to buy or sell an animal that comes from any puppy mill or other breeding facility - even if that facility is owned by the Governor's family - and it would be illegal to operate such a facility in West Virginia.

3. People found guilty of abusing or neglecting animals would never again be allowed to own or keep animals and would receive a punishment similar to the treatment they inflicted on the animals they mistreated. People who starve animals would be sentenced to starvation nearly to the point of death. People who light animals on firer would be tortured with fire. People who beat animals would be beaten nearly to the point of death. People who tether their dog to a stake in the yard and leave it shivering in the cold and deprived of food, water and companionship could be chained on the courthouse lawn for a week or so in the middle of January. People caught trying to provide food, water or comfort to them would tethered in like manner. 

Political candidates who strap their pets to the roof of the car would be similarly "kenneled", roof-topped and driven to Canada where, if they're lucky, someone would hose them off. 

You get the idea. I don't know any judges but if I did I would ask them why they don't sentence animal abusers to punishments similar to their crimes. 

To find out who represents you, go to http://www.legis.state.wv.us/ and tell your elected officials that, since it would be illegal to reduce the number of humans who abuse and neglect animals, you want them to introduce legislation that reduces the number of animals available to the abusers and neglecters.
Higginbotham At Large reads all submitted comments - even if they come from animal abusers and neglecters - but Higginbotham At Large does not publish anonymous or pseudonymous comments from anybody.

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