Help us raise the bar
“I love my Dogs” It’s a common phrase. Replace ‘dog’ with ‘cat’ (or horse, or rabbit, etc) and it becomes more common, with the species somewhat different but the sentiment the same. What does that mean? That very question hung heavy over Town of Olive Justice Court this week. What does it mean? Our culture has developed a symbiotic relationship with our pets; they have moved out of the doghouse and into our homes, onto our couches and often onto the end of the bed. Our pets are often furrier, and more favored members of our extended families. And like a healthy family relationship, we provide for them, and they provide for us in their way. What happens when that relationship is unbalanced? Does it still represent ‘love’ for your dogs? For the second time in 5 years, the UCSPCA found itself at legal odds with David Delisio, a resident of the Town of Olive. Once, we removed 18 dogs, alleging neglect- citing lack of medical care and confinement to a small, dirty, and dangerous room in a barn. The dogs were returned, though the plea bargain allowed for limited monitoring for a time. Then, a year ago, the dogs were found dead inside that same confined, tinderbox of a barn stall…victims of smoke inhalation after a terrible, but sadly predictable fire. Delisio was again arrested. A year of legal maneuvering culminated in a trial which sought to answer the question: Was a 20×25 barn stall, filled with debris, furniture, mountains of animal waste, a deceased dog and 21 living dogs- was that legally considered adequate care? Delisio claimed he loved his dogs. I submit that he loved what the dogs did for him; they loved him in the way this loyal species is famous for. I submit that he selfishly hoarded those animals, and absorbed their affection but failed to offer them anything more than the most basic of food in return. Were this a human relationship, a human in captivity under those conditions, no one would consider it healthy. Cases like this would scream neglect, or abuse, without question if it involved humans. I understand that the bar must be necessarily set lower for animals, but how low can we in good conscience set it? Delisio’s defense would have us set that bar so low that it be completely buried in animal feces. Delisio was found guilty, after two nail biting hours of Jury Deliberation, on 21 misdemeanor counts, hopefully concluding a nearly 5 year saga. The Jury, it seems, did not agree with Delisio’s defense. The jury, it seems, felt that we owe our pets more than just food and water. The jury set the bar far higher than the defense hoped. On behalf of the dogs that died, and those that lived their whole lives in that barn, we at the UCSPCA thank the Jury for your sensitivity and grace in this matter.
This is why we need to keep our Humane Law Department. Otherwise these animals have no voice and will continue to suffer. We have the opportunity to get a new vehicle at a discount offered only to us. Please help us raise enough funds to help us save these animals in need and acquire a much needed new vehicle. How to help!
Here are some shots of Staff, Board members and Dedicated Volunteers enjoying the Memorial Day Parade!
We had great success with our first UCSPCA calendar so we decided lets do it again for 2015!
The cover spot and three months were auctioned at our Fur Ball in March. Make Your Pet a Star has nine spots left.
The winners will have their pet (or pets) photographed by a professional photographer and photos will appear in the 2015 calendar.
You will find raffle tickets enclosed with this newsletter. The drawing will be held on July 5, 2014.