Dogs Have More Legal
Rights Than Terri

By Linda Aliberti

Dear Jeff,
A U.S. judge has sentenced a dog owner for intentionally starving his two dogs for a period of seven days.
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An animal cruelty investigator found two emaciated dogs chained to a fence with no food or water available and applied for an "Order to Seize Dog' from the local judge. Using bolt cutters to cut the dog's chains, the animal cruelty investigator seized both dogs and took them to safety to the animal shelter where the dogs were immediately given food and water. He left a copy of the "Order to Seize Dog" at the residence and charged the owner with two counts of violating Section 353 of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law.
I just don't get it. Terri is in a hospital bed starving to death. A young boy moved by compassion was arrested for trying to give Terri a drink of water. Not one person can legally use bolt cutters to cut through her invisible 'legal chains' nor can take her heavily guarded body away to a safe haven of rest where she can get her much needed food and water. There is no 'Order to Seize Terri' and nobody has been legally charged with violating any sections of any law. Apparently our law says if you are a human being then a U.S. judge can decide your horrible fate to be starvation--but if you are an animal and if your owner starves you to death, your owner, not you the 'animal' , will be subject to heavy penalties and perhaps jail time -- you 'the animal' will surely get the food and water and relaxed home environment you need so not to worry our furry friend.
Our family currently fosters dogs from a local animal shelter. We do this to teach our children compassion and giving to the less fortunate - even if the less fortunate is an animal. But I am at a total loss for words when my kids ask me why Terri has been sentenced to starvation death yet pet owners who do the same for their pets only get heavy fines and penalties. They asked me this question while watching Animal Planet on TV where a few horses were 300 lbs underweight and looked like a bag of bones and were immediately taken from their owners to the ASPCA and given food, clean water and new forever home preparations. The horse owners were served summons and had to personally appear in court.
To summarize, if a dog or cat or horse has not been fed or given clean (or any) water in a week's time than the owner of that animal will be severly punished -- and that animal will be provided the necessary food and water so it will not die. But, if a human being has not been fed or given clean ( or any) water in a week because of a judge's ruling - then that human being will just die a horrible death, and the judge or anyone surrounding why this beautiful life is withering will not be punished.
I think I got it now.... humans are placed much lower than the animals in the judicial system.
--Linda Aliberti



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