An Especially Ugly Ethics Quiz: Cam Betrayed

This story is too disturbing to describe, so I’m going to just give you the link.  Briefly, it involves a couple, she a veteran, he a soldier, killing their therapy dog, laughing as they did it, and filming the event. They were arrested on charges of animal cruelty. Read the story, here, and then consider the Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day, which is…

What is the fair, proportionate, and reasonable punishment for this conduct?

The comments to the story provide the predictable range on human attitudes toward animals, dogs, and pets. Some call for the two veterans’ execution. This is, I hope we can agree, irrational, emotional, and excessive. Other commenters take the attitude that the dog involved—they called him Cam, short for Cambouie.—is, after all, just an animal. They owned him; if he was sick, they had the right to put him down. Who cares whether they laughed or cried? There’s no law against filming an animal’s demise.

Should the punishment be less because PTSD may have been involved?

My Jack Russell Rugby is sitting on my lap after licking my head, so I’m not in a good state of mind to deal with this quiz right now. Cam, in case you don’t know your terriers, is a Staffordshire bull terrier (the photo above was taken before he was adopted by the pair and when he was called “Huey”), a breed closely related to Rugby in both temperament and DNA.

76 thoughts on “An Especially Ugly Ethics Quiz: Cam Betrayed

  1. Here’s an example of the kinds of comments and commenters who don’t make it onto the blog:

    “Man fuck you & your stupid fucking “reasons” as to why this killing isn’t that serious, even if you didn’t flat out say’s clearly what you think, that dog wasn’t sick you dumb should’ve been aborted piece of subhuman shit, the fact that you think shooting a dog on camera is just it’s “demise” means you barely would give a fuck about that poor dog on your laptop that has to endure you as its owner, someone should tie & those fucking parasitical sodomites to that fucking tree….thats PROPER justice \m/”


    Can’t read, can’t reason, can’t write. How much of the public is like this? Whatever the number is, they aren’t welcome here.

    • Well, then. Have fun at the welfare office… I’m sure your life choices have turned out great.

      Honestly, Jack, there are many more than you would like to believe just like this. I am sorry you have to be exposed to the crap.

      This morning I was having a conversation with a fellow in the break room, and a coworker walked in. I just wrapped up my talk and left, as this guy is nothing but negative. He likes to belittle and make fun of those he is jealous of (I am assuming) and not worth exposing myself to the downer on such a wonder Friday (payday to boot) 🙂

  2. I think that the death penalty is perfectly appropriate for these two. People who abuse animals will abuse people. Plus, in a world of increasingly limited resources, we should at least cull the herd of those who demonstrate genetic inferiority In a criminal sense the way that we bred aggression out of lab rats.

    They say that dogs have the cognition of a two-year old. Would we be so forgiving if they’d tied a toddler to a tree & shot him?

    To quote Trump, “Get ’em outta here!!!”

    • “Cull the herd”? Adolf? Is that you?

      They say that dogs have the cognition of a two-year old. Would we be so forgiving if they’d tied a toddler to a tree & shot him?

      Hey! What a great argument! And would you feed a 2-year old dog food? Make him drink from a bowl on the floor? Make him wear a collar? Train him to roll over? Give him rawhide to chew on? Exhibit him at the Westminster Two-Year Old Show? Put two year olds found wandering into a cage and let someone else adopt them…and gas them if nobody does? How about castrating two-year olds so they can’t procreate? Outrageous!

      You really are a cretin, aren’t you? How did you find your way here? A seeing eye two year old?

  3. Punishment should be what the law says it should be: most likely a few years in jail.

    This act indicates a depraved heart on the part of these two, but an animal is not the moral equivalent of a human.

    When someone is tried for murder there are two primary aspects to consider in the sentence: the nature of the murder some quantification of the life lost.

    But when an animal is murdered I don’t know that you can make a determination of that same latter aspect.

    The pair also likely need further medical intervention.

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