Thursday, May 12, 2011

Is "Mental Insanity" an Excuse for Animal Abuse?

When humans are accused of harming one another, lawyers are brought in to prove that their clients are 'unfit to stand trial', or 'mentally insane'.

These infamous defense claims have been used countless times to give leniency and mercy to those in our society who act without reason, or who cannot differentiate between what is wrong and right. While those who sit on the plaintiff's side of the courtroom typically find this claim as insult to injury, its viability in our legal system is solid.

Now, cross the picket fences that seperate our backyard from our neighbor's and ask if Fido the dog has the same rights as Fred, a man who gunned down by a 'mentally unfit' criminal. Do those who harm our four-legged friends have the right to claim insanity when it comes to justifying their actions of animal abuse?

Take the case of an Aurora, Colorado man who stands accused of shooting his neighbor's dog with a high-powered pellet gun back in May 2010. Craig Deering claims that a Hungarian Vizsla named Kaci, was a dangerous dog who provoked those living in his neighborhood. Those who knew the dog said it was not true, and Deering's attorney said his client needs a psychological evaluation with an emphasis in anger issues.

Anger issues. Who would have guessed?

Since Deering claimed that he simply meant to injure the dog, making Kaci's death an unfortunate byproduct of being shot, he was charged with a misdemeanor and not a felony, outraging animal lovers who were following this case.

A question to ask ourselves is why our pets, who are members of our families, have fewer rights than we do. If Deering had shot a child twice with this gun, he would have been locked up for life- no questions asked.

Sadly, Kaci was nursing a new litter of puppies at the time of her death. While this side note does not carry the same heartwrenching depth of tragedy that would be carried by the death of a human mother who lost her life to murder, it still invokes a true feeling of sadness.

It is obvious that any person who commits murder - whether their victim is a person or a pet - is insane to some degree. By not locking up animal killers, society is giving them the opportunity to accelerate their craft and eventually hurt a child... a mother... an innocent neighbor who maybe played their music too loud. In my opinion, animal abuse is a loud scream for help, and an eerie foreshadowing of future tragedies to come.

Thank you to for information regarding this case. You can read the most recent story by following

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