Dagny McKinley: Value all life
June 6, 2010
Steamboat Springs — I feel the need to express my concern regarding the article "Dog shot outside of Yampa" in the June 2 Steamboat Today. I would like to ask the landowner who shot Mr. Bubbles where his compassion is? If we have such little regard for animal life, how much regard can we have for our own lives? How small of a person is the landowner that he feels no pain or sorrow at taking a life? How would the landowner feel if his son or daughter stepped onto another person's property to chase a piece of paper that had fluttered out of their hand only to be shot in the head?
I understand ranchers' concern regarding their cattle and threats, but since when are ranchers able to step outside of the law that other people in this county have to abide by? According to the article: Animal control officer Cindy DelValle said that, in general, ranchers are permitted to shoot domestic dogs if they feel they, their livestock, their domestic animals, children or property are in harm's way.
If a dog puts my dog in harm's way, do I have the right to shoot it, or do I have to call animal control or the police to deal with the matter? I don't understand why ranchers don't have to follow the same rules. If their livestock are stressed to a point where the rancher loses revenue, then the dog owner should have to pay fines to the rancher, not lose a life.
As a society, I think we have too little regard for life — animal and human. When we are able to kill dogs at will, what's next? A child who wanders onto the property to pick a flower? How much would this town rebel if a human life was taken? Why don't we value the lives of animals? Why are theirs less than ours?
I agree that we need to respect other's property. However, having a license to shoot any dog that strays onto their property with no apparent just cause is disgusting to me. Every life should be valued.