Thursday, March 5, 2009

Condoning animal cruelty

I have to admit that I am a bit shocked by the comments and emails that are coming in about the case of the 2 kittens who were drowned by Susan Keizer in Windsor Nova Scotia when they were 2 days old simply because their mother was a stray cat who had the bad luck of spending some time on Ms. Keizer's property.

Everyone brings their own life experiences to every story - and everyone has their own story's to tell about stray or feral cats in their neighbourhoods and back yards - and there's no doubt that there's a problem everywhere with them - but that doesn't give anyone the right to kill even one of them inhumanely.

What if the person who killed the dog last week by hanging them with the extension cord were to come forward and say that they did it because it was a stray dog that had been coming on their property and causing problems - they'd called the SPCA and the Pound and no one was giving them any headway - so they did the only thing they could think of - hanging the dog. They couldn't afford to take it to a vet because they were on welfare, they couldn't afford to keep the dog - so what else could they do?

Would that change the way you felt about the story? Yes? No? Does it make a difference because it's a dog instead of a cat? Why? Who are you to say that the dog suffered more by strangulation than a kitten by drowning? Have you ever been a dog who's been strangled or a cat who's been drowned? How do you know the difference in levels of suffering?

So maybe now you will start to think about how you were thinking that it really wasn't this poor woman's fault that she was forced into this situation. No one forces anyone to do anything. That is a ridiculous assumption for anyone to make.

Just because there is a shortage of facilities in our province currently to deal with stray and feral cats does not mean that we should be allowed to abuse those animals and kill them anyway we feel like simply because they've had the bad luck to travel onto the property of a person who doesn't have a problem with smashing them on the head with a hammer, hanging them, or drowning them.

And just because the "shelters" that might be in the communities these people live in kills animals - doesn't give carte blanche to the people in the community to kill animals any way they see fit. If that were the case then you'd have any animal hater going on killing sprees every week and using that as an excuse.

I think some people have forgotten what this case is about - a person inhumanely killed 2 live sentient beings - and the Nova Scotia justice system said that there was no problem with that and did nothing about it when she pled guilty but give her a $5 fine. This is wrong. It doesn't matter about the extraneous stuff - 2 sentient beings were tortured. By the hands of Susan Keizer - and crown attorney William Ferguson said it was okay. And that is not right.

When will we start to see that animal abuse under any circumstances cannot be condoned. This is okay, but that is not. I don't understand.


  1. Anonymous12:10 PM

    If the SPCA was called about these kittens and they responded by taking them into their care this women would not have drowned them. ( I don't condone the drowning but if the Society for the PREVENTION of CRULITY to animals had taken them the story ends).To quote Sean Kelly "What this case has done is it has made it okay to kill any stray animal by drowning it, clearly there a need here to educate our prosecutors on what our mandate is versus the mandate of the municipality and to educate them on what responsibilities lie within the municipalities animal control division".In my simple terms animal control protects people from animals where the SPCA protects animals from people. What people needed to be protected from these kittens? If this lady had done like many people in this situation just leave them outside and let nature do the dirty work then nothing would have happened to her. The Saint John Animal Rescue League accepts all animals that come their way. As a consequence they have a very low save rate compared to NBSPCA's because something else is happening to these unwanted animals in areas served by SPCA's that don't show up in any shelter's statics. It's completely hypocritical for the SPCA to go to court and complain about the sentence in this case when they could have prevented it from happening in the first place. The kittens fate probably wouldn't have been any different only the who and the how would have changed. SPCA's should stop complaining about the irresponsible public and develop ways to make it easier for the public to be more responsible.More time should be spent on Preventing cruelty rather than prosecuting it. Let the public put pressure on law makers and let the SPCA'S protect the animals today.

  2. Anonymous4:30 PM

    This is a response to the first commenter.

    You say that "More time should be spent on Preventing cruelty rather than prosecuting it". The only positive things that can come out of a cruelty case are a guilty conviction and a punishment to the offender that will make the public aware that treating animals in this way is NOT ACCEPTABLE. A successful prosecution with a big scary fine is a great way to make potential animal abuses think twice before harming an animal. That my friends is prevention!

    The fine imposed in this case has told the public that animal cruelty IS ACCEPTABLE for the modest sum of $5. The SPCA has done the right thing in speaking out about this and are in no way hypocritical.

    The SPCA should never stop "complaining" about the irresponsible public until the public becomes responsible! It is not the society's mandate to make things "easier" for irresponsible people by giving them a convenient place to dump their problems.

  3. Treating or killing any animal inhumanely is NEVER okay. Not only do I feel for the drowned stray kittens that suffered, but also for the lactating mom cat who had her kitten taken away. Obviously that woman lacks compassion for both animals and mothers.

    What I don't agree with is the singling out of one person or another, when, in fact, there is inhumane treatment of stray and owned dogs and cats everywhere that is condoned by the law. Gassing stray and surrendered animals is also not okay. What about the pharmaceutical industry, and mass production of food animals. Trapping! Sealing! Rodeos! Greyhound racing!

    Animals need our protection. Every feeling organism has the right (sadly not legally) to be treated humanely.
    The million dollar question is if that will be ever accomplished if we deal with animal cruelty from the bottom up, instead from the top down.

    If the top - lawmakers, industry, and organizations such as humane societies and animal services lead by example, maybe one day acts like hanging a dog or drowning kittens will be so socially unacceptable that animals are treated with dignity by everyone.

    In the meantime, since the kitten drowner is on welfare, and I assume has time on her hands, maybe a more appropriate "punishment" would have been to sentence her to do community service at a shelter near her - to get a lesson on care and empathy.

  4. And of course the thing nobody is even talking about .... what happened to the mother cat?

  5. Anonymous7:05 PM

    What people dont get, is that if the women had called the spca and had said she was going to drown the kittens if they didnt take them, they most likely would have taken the kittens. Calling to say you have a stray is ok, but most times you will get on waiting list because in metro there are over 500,000 strays. What would have happened if swhe had just left them on her property until she could find help, why did she decide that they needed to have their lives ended at that point? People need to take responsibility for their actions and the province has just shown us that they dont believe that with the unjust ruling.
    talk about a two-teired legal system