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Guide Dog Death

In the news: a man in Pennsylvania was convicted of kicking and dragging his dog to death. The man is legally blind, and it was his guide dog. First of all, “legally blind” does not mean you can’t see. It means that what someone with normal vision could see from 200 feet away, the legally blind person would have to be at least as close as 20 feet to see. It’s called 20-200, as opposed to the 20-20 that describes normal vision.

This is what happened: the man (his name doesn’t matter) says he accidentally fell on the dog after the black Lab collapsed and began gasping for breath. But police tell another story: they say the man was drunk, and that he kicked the dog to death, and then dragged his body down the sidewalk to his home (he would have had to be able to see some to do that.). They say that witnesses told them the man had just spent quite some time in a bar (where his guide dog undoubtedly waited patiently for him). A veterinarian testified that the dog died from multiple blunt force trauma—kicking—which resulted in a ruptured spleen, as well as a cracked skull. The man was convicted of cruelty to animals. Sentencing has not taken place yet, but the maximum he could get is two years in prison and a fine.

Now. Dogs are the most loving and trusting animals on earth when it comes to their owners. And here was a dog whose whole life was: looking out for his master—who kicked him to death. If you ask me, two years in prison is not nearly long enough. What a mean and ornery soul that man must have.

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