By now, most of you have probably heard about the woman who tried to mail a puppy to her son using the US Postal Service. This Rhodes Scholar didn’t think there was anything wrong with mailing a puppy in an airtight box without ventilation holes, food, water or a blanket for warmth from Minnesota to Georgia in the middle of winter. If it were not for the attentiveness of the postal workers, this four-month-old puppy would have suffered a terrible death as it would have been shipped as airfreight and therefore placed in the cargo and baggage area of the plane. This area is neither temperature controlled nor pressurized. You do the math.
At this point in time I could diverge into the socioeconomic reasons as to why this woman didn’t think she was doing anything wrong, but at this stage of my life I have come to realize that there are some truly stupid, ignorant, numbnuts out there, especially when it comes to the intelligent care of animals. I believe that in the United States, in today’s day and age, that it should be considered a privilege, not an inherent right to own animals. Anyone who wants to own an animal should have a modicum of intelligence and financial wherewithal to provide adequate veterinary care and a loving home to those animals they want to consider pets. It is obvious this woman had neither. Did she think her son would be excited to open a sealed box with a dead, thawed out puppy twisted like a pretzel? What was she thinking? It’s obvious she wasn’t. There is no excuse for stupidity, but there is accountability.
Having been charged with animal cruelty, it will now be interesting to see how the court system handles this case. It seems to be off to a good start considering the judge dressed her down, as he found it incredulous that anyone could think that what she did was anything but insane. The fact that she asked the judge for her $22 postage fee to be returned considering the puppy was never shipped didn’t exactly endear her to the court. Historically, animal abusers have received little more than a slap on the wrists. While there have been some rulings where more severe penalties have been handed down, these are the exceptions rather than the rule. It is encouraging that lawmakers are finally realizing that crimes against animals are serious crimes that warrant stiffer penalties and tougher, more aggressive prosecution. For example, the Hawaiian state Legislature has just introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for people who “knowingly attend” or “pay to attend” a cockfight. Currently, the law only prosecutes those who stage the fight, rather than those who watch it. This new bill obviously takes it one step further, making people criminally liable attending events that perpetuate animal cruelty. Hopefully, the judge in this case will see things similarly.
With regard to the puppy in this case, he has been taken away from the woman and placed with a reputable rescue group for adoption. Having placed rescued animals many times in the past, I’m sure that it won’t be long before he is placed in an appropriate home. Perhaps an appropriate penalty for this woman should include being placed in an airtight box and shipped to Pakistan care of Osama Bin Laden.