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So a raccoon gets into a garage and starts tossing the place.  A young man sends his dog into deal with it, leading to a dead raccoon.  Now, he—the man—is charged with animal cruelty.  From the story:

Seth Foster, 23, said he found his family garage in disarray last summer and sent his dog in the building to investigate. Grizz, a blue heeler, returned with the culprit, a young raccoon. As two teenage boys watched, one of them filming its actions with a cell phone, Grizz killed the coon, Foster said. Now, Foster is facing a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty resulting in death, which is punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. A jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 25 in Jackson County District Court.

Foster, whose father owns a nuisance animal control business, contends he did not do anything wrong. The raccoon damaged his family’s property on Ivan Drive in Spring Arbor Township. “It’s ridiculous,” he said of the charge. “Everybody I’ve talked to says it’s ridiculous.” There is a proper way to deal with a pest and it does not involve animal agony, said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer. Raccoons can be trapped alive or quickly and efficiently killed, he said. Blumer said the dog was encouraged to attack the raccoon and “tear it apart.” He likened this to cockfighting or dogfighting, both of which are illegal. “There is legitimate sport, and then there’s cruel sport,” he said.

Aren’t there any real crimes that need enforcing? It’s not the same as Michael Vick training dogs to be be vicious.  The dog was defending his turf and pack.  There may have been a better way to deal with the raccoon invasion, but are we really to the point that a dog killing a raccoon is considered animal cruelty?

What about getting a cat to kill mice?  The prosecutor says the analogy is inapt:
The whole incident has been “blown out of proportion,” he said. “To me, it’s no different than if you buy a cat to kill mice.” There is a difference, Blumer said. The killing of mice is not controlled. There are trapping and hunting seasons for raccoons. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, a property owner without a license or permit may kill a raccoon all year if the animal is damaging or about to damage private property.

Objection, irrelevant.  This wasn’t a case of a hunt.  It was property defense.

Still, notice that the man was charged and not the dog.  And here is the moral of the story: We are moral beings who can be held culpable for violating legal and moral duties.  Dogs are wonderful, but they are not moral agents.  So, the real killer will remain happily at home eating kibble and getting scritches, and the man will face the music.  But that is one of the costs of being a member of the exceptional species.

And what is this obsession with videoing every event under the sun?  Some things are best left unrecorded.

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