Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: I am an Animal Abuser

I am going to admit it to the world. I am an "animal abuser". This is what some animal rights people will claim and it is just possible the law might back them. If I am in jail at the end of the week, I will have my first criminal offense on record. I believe in following the law but the animal cruelty laws have gotten out of control in this country. How did I get into this position of possibly being a felon? I blame it on a cop.

My daughter, the police officer with a soft heart for felines (read: don't get the girl anywhere near little furry things) was told some kittens had been dumped behind a strip mall. She goes to check them out with plans to take them over to the shelter and, hopefully, get them homes. She chases them about and two of them slither under a fence and out of her reach. The third she catches because it is dragging one of its legs behind it. She plops it in my lap (the unlucky ridealong) and off we go. Later, when another officer pops his head in the window and asks what the kitten's name is, she replies snarkily, "Not mine." (she already has four cats), a name with such foreshadowing that the fool with the cat on her lap should have already seen how this tale was going to end.

Well, now the dilemma begins. One can't take a cat to the shelter with a broken leg because they will put it down. It is supposed to be the kind thing to do (yes, sure, but the little beast is now purring in my arms and looking up at me with its helpless little eyes). So, we take it to the vet and pay for x-rays. Yep, broken femur - really, bad, broken femur with two bones passing each other . The vet tells us it needs surgery to the tune of $1000 pocket change.

$1000 for a cat? A kitten? A homeless kitten? You have got to be kidding! Where are the old animal doctors - you remember them - the rough-and-tough fellow who would "do what he could for the little fellah" and charge you $20? Oh, yeah, he went away with ten years of school and a loan the size of the treasury of a small African nation. He went away with the doctors and veterinarians not run by insurance and drug companies so that there is no such thing as a reasonable price. He went away with a lawyer like Abe Lincoln who could learn law and then practice it for a price that meant regular folks could actually get some justice.

At some point in this society, we need put our foot down and say, "Let's be reasonable. Let's use common sense and not go broke with perfectionism and trying one more drug or trying to cure everything with science and money. Let's determine if this is something we can do ourselves (with tough parenting as in all those ridiculous ADD diagnoses), or not do at all (with some of those ridiculous expensive medical treatments that haven't a snowball's chance of doing more than torturing a person for an extra three months of 'life'), or do what we can without breaking the bank (as with an stray animal and its broken leg).

By now in this rant, all the animal advocates are going nuts worrying about the kitten's broken leg. I know this...because I googled "kitten, broken leg, heal naturally" and couldn't find one person who wasn't incensed that a person wouldn't pay that $1000 to get the kitty "proper" treatment. As a matter of fact, those who consider not forking out the cash are warned that they can be arrested for animal abuse, a criminal offense. At least, they demand, take the animal to a shelter and have it put down...it is the humane thing to do if you don't want to be a responsible pet owner. Anyway, I couldn't find an answer to how well the kitten might do without surgery, so I called the vet back.

I told the vet the $1000 was too much for me to pay for a stray cat and I was given an option to sign over the kitten and THEN they would do the surgery, rehab it, and get it adopted. How stupid do they think this criminal profiler is? Do they really think I believe that they are going to waste all their time and money on this kitten when there are god-knows-how-many other kittens about to be euthanized at the SPCA? I am not a fool. I sign the paper and when the door hits me in the butt, they tch-tch about how cheap I am and how if I am not willing to help the cat I should have been willing to do the "humane" thing and have it put to sleep so it won't have suffer with a broken leg. Now, they will do the humane thing behind my back while I go off thinking I have done something nice by giving it the vet.

Yeah, right. I said, "No, thanks." I told them I was keeping the cat and taking it to my vet; that way, THEY could think they had done the "humane" thing by getting me to pay for the operation, even if they weren't the docs making the money on it.

I decided to roll the dice on the kitten. From the moment I got it, it has never shown itself to be in any pain. It eats like a pig. It throws itself on me and purrs and purrs and purrs. I concluded it wasn't suffering and it didn't have internal injuries and the leg, even with the bad break, seemed to be in a good position.

A week has gone by. The kitten bolted out the library door yesterday on four legs and it took me thirty minutes to catch it. I dunno, maybe the thing will have a limp of sorts as it goes through life, but the critter certainly doesn't look like it isn't going to be perfectly mobile.

So, now I have joined the ranks of animal abusers because the choice I made for the kitten is probably considered cruel by many. I guess I just don't get the thinking of America. Are we so ridiculously arrogant about our wealth we cannot understand that spending money isn't the answer to everything and not everyone can do it and not everyone can do it all the time? Don't they understand we sometimes should do "less" than we could and just let life be okay, if not perfect? Are we that spoiled and do we need to spoil our children and pets this way as well?

We don't need to be perfect people. We don't need to look perfect until we die, we don't need perfect teeth, we don't need perfect educations, we don't need perfect...anything! We need "good" stuff. We need good health (by eating right), good teeth (by brushing them), good education (by learning what we need to know), and we need good services (that have a reasonable price). Most of all we need good behavior and good morals and good ethics. We can't buy these. And it shouldn't be a crime if we don't spend a fortune on our children and pets but instead opt for a little commonsense, hard work, and humbleness.

I am not an animal abuser. I am an animal lover who gave up her time and energy (and some money) to save a little kitten (who apparently can now be named "Yeah, it's mine"). I made those same tough decisions concerning my children as they grew up and I guess I could have gone to work full-time and spent my money on medical care and dental care and psychological care instead of staying home with the kids, homeschooling them, and seeing they had turned out to be good decent citizens. Perhaps, I was a child abuser as well (and I was indeed called this by certain doctors and dentists who wanted me to spend money I didn't have).

Money is not a cure for everything. Holding a friend as she dies from cancer is worth more than any medical treatment. Spending time with your kids is better than any after-school program. Teaching your children to be respectful and polite is better than any ADD drug. Saving a little kitten and accepting it might have a limp and spending the $1000 on something more reasonable is not animal abuse, but kindness and commonsense coming together to make a rational decision.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Dylan-316 said...

when I was a boy our family dog was hit by a car and severely injured. My dad took her to the vet and the vet agreed to do the surgery required to put our dog back together. I don't know if there was a misunderstanding or if my dad was just naive, but I do know that had my dad thought for one minute the vet would charge seven thousand dollars to fix the dog he would have had her put down. When my dad went to pick up our dog and was given the bill he took the dog and paid the vet seven hundred dollars and left.

Off topic now Pat, but since you didn't respond to my email, have you any thoughts on the disembodied feet that have been washing up on the BC coast? ..and don't tell me it's the work of the smiley face gang. LOL

Pat Brown said...

Wow! Your dad was surely one honorable man! He sounds like a great guy. I hope the family dog lived a long, long time!

As to the other topic...the Smelly Feet Gang...::snicker::

Actually, quite a fascinating mystery! I thought the plane crash was a possibilty because feet are often severed in the impact. But, with the homeless man's DNA identified and one of the feet being from a woman (and the plane carrying all men) the plot thickens. It could just be that a number of dead people's body parts just finally surfaced due to some natural occurance. Since the police say there is no sign the feet were severed with a tool, then one must assume, whether the people were murdered or accidentally died or were suicides, the bodies were whole at some point. How and when they ended up dead will be the question. It seems a bit strange to me that all five would start tossing up feet at the same time. I have to really think about this one!

Dylan-316 said...

I am puzzled by one thing about this strange case. How long could human remains encased in a running shoe exist in a marine/shoreline environment before disintegrating entirely? The police and the forensic examiners are assuring the public that there is no evidence of foul play, but it seems to me that there are several indicators of foul play present here.

-The first foot was found in August of last year and the latest was found June 16th of this year. Are we to assume that these remains entered the ocean at the same point and time? The examiner has said that the feet have become separated from the cadaver due to the natural decomposition of the corpse in salt water, so even at the time when the first foot was found, almost a year ago, the last foot would have been severely decomposed, then it spends about ten more months either bobbing about in the ocean or sitting on the tide line until June 16th? How could there be anything left in the shoe after all that time?

also it seems to me that finding these shoes with feet in them would be statistically unlikely for the simple reason that the coastal area is massive, the shoes are small, and the time span over which they are found is long. so either there must be many more feet out there on the shoreline that are simply not found, or these shoes are actually being left in specific places to be found.

Recently the police have matched one of the feet to a missing person from vancouver. The person was suffering from depression and at the time he went missing, around march of 07, it was presumed he may have committed suicide. Also it is now being reported that the skeletal remains of a body lacking both its hands and its feet was found on the shores of Orcas Island in Washington. They have not yet determined if this body matches any of the feet.

Imagine this as a possible and more likely scenario than the idea that these feet have all entered the water at the same place and time as the result of an accident; The killer is decomposing the bodies of his victims in a tank of water, either a deep freezer or some other large container. He waits until the point when the feet have separated from the body and then freezes only the foot in its shoe. He disposes of the rest of the body and then at a later date he places the shoe somewhere where he knows it is likely to be found. He is playing a game. And making any time of death of any of these individuals impossible.

Just a thought...

but I'm pretty sure these feet could not have entered the ocean at the same place and time.

Dylan-316 said...

Yes I think my dad did do the honorable thing even though he short changed the vet by $6300.00 Buba, the bionic dog, did live a long life though.

Pat Brown said...

OOPS! I read that wrong! I thought you father calmly paid the whole $7000, not just $700! Hah...well, that is a little more normal! But, still he paid something to the vet and, in my opinion, if the vet doesn't get a John Hancock on a paper approving the surgery AND the cost, he should eat it. It ticks me off when emotional and confused people accept treatment for themselves or their pets and later get an outrageous bill, especially when there IS enough time to sit them down and help them understand the options and costs. Of course, I have run into the problem with many services and now I am getting to the point where agreeing on anything without a contract and everything detailed is a necessity and not paranoia (well, it is paranoia but realistic paranoia).

Oh, as to the feet, I am still thinking about them, but I am doubting the save them for later and play games with them. This kind of stuff is extremely rare and usually, if it is done, it is done quickly as psychopathic serial killers usually lack long-term focus.

Dylan-316 said...

I'm sure you're right about my silly theory, but I still think its a mystery how these feet could be found where they were found when they were found.

Dylan-316 said...

I followed a link from your blog to "eyes for lies" What do you make of this person? I was intrigued by her stance on the Madeleine McCann case. She not only believes that the McCanns are being truthful, but seemed to find nothing strange about the behavior of any of their friends either. It just seems a little to convenient to claim to be some kind of human lie detector??? I mean its a bit of a conversation killer isn't it? I mean why bother with such trivialities as deductive reasoning, statistical probabilities, criminal profiling, etc, if you can just KNOW whether or not someone is lying? Personally my lie detector start beeping when Kate and Gerry start speaking, but then I don't claim to be an FBI certified human lie detector.

Ronni said...

Some people are just intuitive. It's a gift, a talent, like any other.

I thought the McCanns were something of an enigma.

IOW, I like what I've read there.

Good for you, Pat, with the kitten. We found a rescue with a broken leg and found a vet who did the surgery for half price, as the kitten was a rescue. Still very pricey, but we coped.

BTW, I agree with you. About all of it!