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.