What am I talking about?

On 15th September Jon Allen and Veronica Reid were sentenced at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court after previously admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a Collie cross dog named Shandy by hanging him. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a third person who failed to attend the hearing.

The reason these ‘people’ took this action?

Their 9-10 year old Collie cross had become increasingly aggressive. Their vet wanted to fully assess him so after a consultation asked them to return the following day. Instead of doing this, they hanged their dog at home.

Their actions total:

– 41 week sentence, suspended for 18 months (both)

– 300 hours of unpaid work (him)

– £200 of costs (both)

– £160 victim surcharge (both)

– 10 year disqualification from owning animals (him)

– Curfew from 9pm-7am for 6 months (her)

Is that really all we can do? If this was the maximum sentence the law could pass down, then what are we doing wrong when this is the most we can do – and if it isn’t the maximum then what on earth are we doing?

Why, when someone causes such suffering to an animal (knowingly causing this suffering, you could be under no disillusions as to what you were doing – or who you were helping to do this) – can we do no more?

There could have been any number of reasons for a dog acting differently – whatever they were, none of them deserved this treatment.

Our dogs are there for us when we need them. Yet we can’t protect them when they need us.

From a growing number of dogs being abandoned without a care in the world, to dogs such as Shandy, being abused and having his life taking from him in such a cruel way. As a species can we really call ourselves ‘man’s best friend’?

I think not. 


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