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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks. I've read two posts today that have made me very sad. One was about a vet that didn't take care of the rats in their charge and they had to be rescued. I also read about someone who took a rat from a pet store where it was being kept in a cage with a dead rat.

These things really ought to be reported. There has got to be some sort of agency/group you can contact for any given situation. A vet could have their practice reported and have their license revoked, for a pet store that has dead rats in cages you could even call health services. If it's not reported, what's to stop people from doing these things again? Abuse is abuse.

Maybe we can have a sticky post with places to contact in various abuse situations?

Please make it a priority to contact the proper authorities. Rat abuse should be treated as importantly as dog or cat abuse.
 

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I would have thought that rat abuse would fall into the hands of the local city code enforcement or animal control agent.

In my town I can call the police if there is a sick chicken next door and they will send an animal officer right out.

An animal is an animal, be it large or small, common or not. As long as it's legally allowed, it's legally protected. Don't be afraid to remind people of this when you call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Precisely. Don't give up or get discouraged if you call and someone isn't being helpful or responsive, just ask to talk to someone else. It's too important not to.
 

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I work at a pet store. And i know it is a health code violation for a dead animal to remain unattended in a tank with other animals. Im proud to say my store is only one with no hc violations in my state =]

That vet is sick in the head. A vet tech should have been assigned to the rat.
Its tough to report. Many people dont care for their animals as much as they should, yet are still in the legal means of caring for them.
But for those who completely neglect, they need to be reported.
 

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I hate to be the "it's just a rat" guy... because, honestly, I do not think they are "just rats"... the fact is, exterminators get paid to rid property of rats all the time, and they use poison, glue traps, spring-type traps, basically anything they want to rid the property of these "pests".

What I am saying here is that I do not think someone's (human) life should be ruined because they do not think the same thing as you do about rats. I am sorry, but the world works this way. We eat cows, yet cows are sacred to others. Others eat dogs, yet most westerners would not think of doing it.

I think that some of this "animal protection" law creation has gotten out of hand, and if someone can be arrested and have their career, or even life, ruined by a criminal record over some rats... the same animals that exterminators kill all the **** time... I think there IS something wrong with that.

Love your ratties, but please, do not push your morals onto others, people that may truly and honestly believe that they are not in the wrong, or just from another cultural norm, and please do not live life expecting the "government" to be our nannies... IE, you may want to be thinking of ways to help the situation that does not involve police, the government, criminal records, ect... You have to back up and take a breath, and realize that you are not just dealing with cute little ratties here, but also humans, with families, with careers, with lives that can VERY EASILY be destroyed over a simple criminal record in the USA (and also in other western countries).

I love my rats, I would love any pet I owned, but I think many pet owners need to step back (PETA members, you guys especially), and consider what the consequences of involving the law into any situation are, and whom they affect, directly and indirectly.

Some perspective is needed in situations like this. I don't mean to sound harsh, but the reality is that rats ARE considered pests by many, and they are exterminated legally, by both professionals and anyone that can buy from a hardware store. You have no right to destroy their life because they do not agree with you on the "cute" status of an animal.

Put all the extra energy into making the lives of the rats that you can care for that much better, while not falling into the trap of state sponsored legislation of morality.
 

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I always wondered who had the unmitigated temerity to decide what life was worth how much. Thank you for answering that for me.
 

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I think there should be animal protecton laws because what about abuseds dogs. dogs burnt alive...those sickos should get away with it? If the crime of hurtin an animal(or neglect) is that lifechanging, then the person should logically click....and come up with the preventitive solution of caring for the animal.

And if a dog shouldnt be burned, or starved, or abused....then why can a rat? What makes a dog worth more? size?

Thats my say. I can see where you are comin from. I think an animal should be required to get the basics...food water shelter and a clean healthy envirement. If there is no laws, and no punishments, then so many animals would be dead.
 

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Are you are vegan DFW? Honestly... because being human, being an omnivore by evolution, assumes us at least *some* power to decide what is important to us.

That is not the point, however. I want to agree with you that there is no disposable life... but that would mean humans too... and judging by the fact that the US has the largest prison population in the entire world, (52% for non-violent crimes... as in no violence against human or animal) apparently it is just fine to dispose of inconvenient humans... at least, many people feel this way. Dogs are given more rights in this country than many people are. They are given better health care, they are better protected... Either way you cook it, the circle of life is being tampered with by us.

There is a story of a Buddhist monk that was so obsessed with treating all life as equal, that he stood in one place his entire life because he was afraid that even a footstep might fell an ant.

Look around you, or just turn on the discovery channel... There is a natural order to all living things, but beyond that, I respect your moral position, and would never think of insulting you for it. I would expect that same respect from everyone, to be given to everyone, and in that case, yes, not you, nor I, would have the right to destroy a man's life regardless of how much we disagree with their morals.
 

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yashu said:
assumes us at least *some* power to decide what is important to us.
I know I’m taking this out of context, but for me this is the crux of the situation- humans will always take care of themselves, domestic animals are completely at our mercy.

I’m not a PETA member (I think the organization is hypocritical) but I do believe in animal welfare.

I don’t think it is too much to expect people to provide the most basic of care for their animals (which is all that most laws allow for.) Food, water, and shelter…what’s wrong with that? Not like giving them the right to vote or anything.

As for animal cruelty laws that ‘ruin peoples’ lives,’ the majority of animal cruelty offences (if even prosecuted) end in community service and at most a few days in jail. Hardly the end of the world.

Up to a point, I see where you are coming from. But if you think the animals in our society are getting such a great deal I would suggest you spend some time volunteering at a kill shelter.
 

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I hear on the news all the time, perhaps weekly, someone being arrested for animal cruelty. Any time you are arrested and convicted, you are stuck with a record that follows you the rest of your life. Yes, this can easily ruin careers and lives. If you cannot get a job because you have to write on the application that you are a felon, then I consider that pretty much life ruining. Ask the guys living on the street what it is like not being able to hold a job. The irony is when I see a homeless man nearby a "pet motel".

In the USA, a criminal record can end a career, and prevent one from getting back on their feet. Jail time can destroy someone's life in a flash, there is no which way about it. That is what concerns me. I do not support animal abuse, however, even the blind can see that when all it takes is an "abuse report" from someone to put a stop to someone's hopes and dreams... well, then we need to think twice before rushing towards conclusions hijacked by raw emotion. Like I said, step back and try to gain a little perspective... consider other cultures and customs, consider that there is no such thing as "moral fact" as much as anyone would wish to think so.

We see cute little ratties, but there are many people that see "pests", and I do not think that these people should be clogging up the justice system that I pay for with my tax money. There are other ways.

Here is a suggestion... This is what I would do, but this is my opinion, of course. I would compile a list of vets that you guys consider to be abusive and publish this information for free. Start a consumer awareness group and get the word out. There are many ways to solve problems that do not waste tax dollars... I wish that more in our governments knew this.
 

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First of all, I would like to extend my sincere apologies to you in regards to my making that flippant and sarcastic remark. I let my quick temper preside over what I would hope to be my better judgement. With that said, I would like to debate this with you - not sling crap at each other....but a true debate. I think it could be interesting.

Are you are vegan DFW?

Not even close.

Honestly... because being human, being an omnivore by evolution, assumes us at least *some* power to decide what is important to us.

That is not true - being a human and having free will assumes us the power to decide. What and/or how we consume nourishment has nothing to do wiht it.

That is not the point, however. I want to agree with you that there is no disposable life... but that would mean humans too...

Of course it references human life as well. Sadly, there seems to be just about as little value placed upon human life as is placed upon animal life. It is disheartening.

and judging by the fact that the US has the largest prison population in the entire world, (52% for non-violent crimes... as in no violence against human or animal) apparently it is just fine to dispose of inconvenient humans... at least, many people feel this way.

Lets look at this. WHY is this? Maybe because as a country we have desensitized ourselves to the point of being automotons? Perhaps. My thought however, is that this is due to a lack of responsibility and commitment. Look at relationships....whether it is husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, same sex relationships or even the bond that is supposed to be between a parent and child. Too many people find it so easy to disregard these committemnts...its easy to see how they could disregard the committment that SHOULD be part of the process of deciding to take on the responsibility of caring for the life of an animal.

Dogs are given more rights in this country than many people are.

While I agree with you that many are denied much, I cannot agree wiht this statement. Go to a pound and then tell me that again.

They are given better health care, they are better protected...

I do not think so.

Either way you cook it, the circle of life is being tampered with by us.

I do agree with that. It has and is. Too many types of animals have been domesticated, and never should have. We as a people do not take decent care of what we have.


There is a story of a Buddhist monk that was so obsessed with treating all life as equal, that he stood in one place his entire life because he was afraid that even a footstep might fell an ant.


I dont have anything to say to that as I dont see the relevance (although I do understand why you chose to insert it)

Look around you, or just turn on the discovery channel... There is a natural order to all living things, but beyond that, I respect your moral position, and would never think of insulting you for it. I would expect that same respect from everyone, to be given to everyone, and in that case, yes, not you, nor I, would have the right to destroy a man's life regardless of how much we disagree with their morals.[/quote]

Yes there is a natural order to all living things, but that became irrelevant when the species was domesticated. A pet rat is NOT a Rattus Rattus. It is a domesticated animal that did not ask to BE domesticated (obviously since it IS an animal and as such is not capable of the same free will that we as humans are afforded). The circle of life ceased to factor in here when we tamed the animal and made it a pet. We have the free will to NOT purchase a pet if we dont want the lifetime (of the pet) responsibility of keeping it physically and emotionally healthy, fed, clean and so forth. However, so many ppl dont bother considering this....they just continue on purchasing animals to satisfy their own over-weaning egos and then not caring for their responsibility when it gets too hard, too expensive, too time consuming. Then there is a poor little creature (who never asked to be purchased, much less domesticated) who suffers for it. I understand that animals are not human, but please explain to me why it is okay to desensitize the self to something as pitiful as that, because Im just not seeing it.

It is not that I want to destroy a person's life, but it is a point of personal responsibility! Why SHOULDNT a person who has been found to be guilty of cruel and unusual treatment of an animal stand up and take what he/she has earned, meaning the punishment for the crime. Of COURSE they should. Again, its free will. That person has the god-given ability of CHOICE. They can CHOOSE to be kind or be cruel. A person that is cruel to an animal is twice as likely to carry that over to a human. That is just simple psychology. PERHAPS if that person were held accountable for their choices, something MAY change. Maybe not.

And again, I apologize for being so snappy in my initial posting in response to you.
 

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Interesting thread, I am too tired to think/say much.

But of course we are getting the authorities involved with the vet that neglected the rats. I don't know if they'll do anything (sadly), but we'll try. Since money (lots!) was exchanged, it's possible someone will take notice.
 

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Who gets to decide what is "cruel"? It seems like a common sense question, but all these things are moral opinion.

The best way to get to the answers is to work on a solid foundation as to what we consider cruel, I think we have a good agreement as to what we consider "necessary care", but if you step back and look at humans across the earth, and what animals may be "off limits" for one culture and "game on" in another... I think there are so many conflicting opinions that we may never have an "answer".

I agree that people have commitment issues in this country. Relationships aside, I think that, yes, taking care of a life is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. The reason I do not think the punishments should not be harsh currently are because of several things. Firstly, unlike driving a car, we do not need to show any proof of responsibility to own a pet. Anyone can get a pet. As long as that is the case, how can we let anyone who wants an animal have one, but then punish them after the fact when they do not behave as people think they should? If everyone had to show some form of proof of responsibility (like we do with driving, for example), THEN we would have the right to expect it, but not until then.

It is not logical to jump in at some random time and punish someone for breaking a bunch of rules/laws, that they were never expected to know in the first place.

2ndly, as I stated above, the system, at least in the USA, is setup to where a criminal record can be what lies between a good job and a home, and living on the street. As long as there is no unified understanding of "responsibility" and how to enforce it, we have no right potentially destroying the lives of people that may not understand our culture, or just would have never had been able to get a pet in the first place had we such a system in place.

Now I am just rambling, so I will probably continue more another day. I appreciate the debate.
 

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yashu said:
It is not logical to jump in at some random time and punish someone for breaking a bunch of rules/laws, that they were never expected to know in the first place.
Actually, one of the core principles of the law is that it is the citizen's responsibility to know and obey them. Ignorance of any law is not, and has never been, a defense against it being enforced. In short: you ARE expected to know them.

As well: there is a certain assumption of care that comes with certain positions: whether you choose to be a vet, a pet owner, or a pet store, you have assumed responsibility for the care of the animals in your office/home/store.

And finally, as for a criminal convictions ruining other peoples' lives: do you have any idea as to what line must be crossed to get arrested for animal cruelty? The vet in question, the pet store... would be visited and instructed in what needs to be changed, then left to do so. Being arrested for animal cruelty offenses goes FAR beyond any minor act... these are acts of outright torture or brutality towards the animals in question. No one's lives are being ruined for relatively minor things with regards to animals: the laying of a criminal charge in such a case is incredibly rare, and reserved only for the most brutal cases.

I think you're under the mistaken belief that people are arrested for animal cruelty for being ignorant, or for acts that are not obviously criminal. This is simply not the case. As said: criminal charges are incredibly rare when it comes to animal abuse, and almost without exception involves extreme brutality and intention to cause a LOT of pain to the animal.
 

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Exactly, Schmea.

Animal cruelty laws and their enforcement vary by city, county and state, but usually follow along the same general line:

An offender is visited by Animal Control and given a citation telling where they fall short of the law and what to do to fix it. (So there is no way they can say ‘they didn’t know.’) The person is given a set amount of time to remedy the problem, and that’s usually the end of it.

If the offender is well aware of the problem and refuses to work with AC or make any effort to comply, (and the case is well documented by AC) only then will legal action be taken. And when I say legal action I mean generally at most a MISDEMEANER.

I know people who have had ‘brushes with the law’ and they live productive lives and are gainfully employed, not living on the streets as you imply.
 

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Schmea:

You are confusing law with subjective opinion.

Remember, there is no way to read the minds of the people that must make and interpret these subjective opinions. If you actually look closely at the law, you will see that most are written with language that leaves it all open to the interpretation of another imperfect human.

Knowing the word of the law is not the same as knowing how it is going to be interpreted at any point in time.

For example, the bill of rights lines out basic human rights, but the language has been vague enough to open the door to the assults on our civil liberties that we face today. The subjective interpretations have changed along with our society, but they are by no means concrete rules one can be accused of being "ignorant" of.

Most laws are written this way, and yes, animal abuse law falls in this catagory. Why would an exterminator be liscensed by the state to "abuse", but at the same time someone can have their life taken away by a criminal record for doing the same basic things.

Until the subjective laguange is changed, until people must show proof of responsibility, until moral and subjective opinion is whiped from the slate completely, who are we, being imperfect ourselves, to pass judgement on someone else that may be of another culture entirely with it's own subjective opinion?

I don't think I will ever stand behind groups like PETA, or any person that wants to force subjective opinion and morals on others, by force, or by litigation.

People that go around and spy on and report others, judge them without context, and assume that their subjective opinion is the only worthy one to uphold, I cannot stand behind these people either.

(I had a feeling I would get a "ignorance of the law is not a defense" response, but this, of course, does not apply in today's society. Laws are no longer written objectively, and have not been for decades now. Not even the ruleset outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights are objectively considered anymore under modern US law.)

This is my opinion: The first thing that you should do when you see something that you do not agree with, is not to "report" them like we are characters of the novel 1984, but we should take a breath to try and understand, try to educate, to reason, and most of all, to attack the ignorance directly, man to man, mind to mind, and to do this FIRST, before considering having persons comitted to a life in the US judiciary system. Be strong willed, and do not fall for the trap of temporary security at the sacrifice of liberty.
 

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There is one thing that I am not 'getting'....and would appreciate your explaining to me...why should people not have to take responsibility and 'face the music' (so to speak) for the cruel harming of a creature?

It seems to me that once they made that free will choice to commit a heinous act, then they forgo their abilty to NOT have it on 'their record'. Why should ppl just get away wiht doing this?

Also, there is one case in point that pretty much sums it up....morality is NOT subjective. No matter how you slice it, beating an animal to death is wrong/immoral in every sense of the word.
 

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You are still speaking in terms of subjective opinions. Morality IS as subjective as it is personal. I would not want anyone, or any entity, telling me what IS moral and what IS not, and the put a period at the end of the sentence. I decide what I think is moral, just as you do the same. It just doesn't make sense to bring the state into such personal decisions.

You and I can agree on certain morals... I do not want to abuse (sharing your definitions) animals either, however, The world is not black and white, and while we can get a vague idea of the moral compass of society, it really is, like everything else, all relative.

Also, history can tell us that what we find moral today, may certainly change in the future. It was once thought moral to own african slaves if you were a white man. It was once thought moral to burn "witches" at the stake in the name of some god. My point here is, that morality is a living word, always in flux, always subjective. That is where the responsibility part comes in, to look inward to one's self and outward to the pulse of society, and ultimately decide what you feel is right. No matter what you decide, someone will disagree, and accepting that is part of the responsibility of living.
 

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yashu said:
(I had a feeling I would get a "ignorance of the law is not a defense" response, but this, of course, does not apply in today's society. Laws are no longer written objectively, and have not been for decades now. Not even the ruleset outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights are objectively considered anymore under modern US law.)

Actually, what I said was that under criminal law, ignorance of the existence of a law which you are in violation of is not a defense under the law, (And this was a direct response to your statement that it is irrational to charge people for laws which they did not know existed) and this is true. The only thing the law is concerned about is whether you are capable of understanding it, such as in cases of special needs individuals. If you CAN understand it, your previous knowledge of it is irreverent in whether or not you can be charged.

Again though... it is incredibly difficult to be arrested for animal cruelty: it does not happen by accident, and there are PLENTY of avenues law enforcement chooses before making such an arrest, and even then it's only in the most extreme cases. If anything, the subjectiveness of the law is currently falling in favour of the abusers, rather than the animals.

*Shrug* you're welcome to your own opinion as to the worth of animal life, and how much freedom we should have to harm them without fear of reprisal. You'll excuse me however, if I hold very little sympathy for those who abuse animals... bringing pain to creatures who cannot defend themselves from it is not a character trait I respect.
 

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I think its not something we can control. I love animals, all animals I take very very good care of my pets. Most of them Ive taken from people who didnt want them anymore (geckos frogs, hamsters, rats, cats, turtles, etc)

I also have a zoology degree, but I cannot leggaly work with animals on a professional standard...
Why? CAuse I ahve a criminal record. How? I had a female mastiff, sweetest dog Ive ever head. 1 day my 5 year old let he rout the door, I was in bedroom nursinga baby I had no idea. As she romped the neighborhood a terrier charged her, she reacted, instinct took over she being 150 pounds, shook this dog causing severe injuries. Yet stopped as soon as I came out and called her name. Police were called, animal control etc I paid $500 in fines and $400 for that terrier and issued a misdemenor for lack of animal responsibility.

I spent $1000 building a confinement etc for her connected to the side door of the house. 6 months went by. I was at work my huusband was there not paying attention, somehow she got out, she played with neighbors dogs and cats ect for a while and then here comes that terrier. I was court ordered to have her euthanized. I was charged with a second degree misdemenor and spent more that $3000 in fines and vet bills on that other dog.

IMO the terrier is a problem, its attacked me since as I walked by adn the shepard I had later (while leashed)no one cared,

I know this isnt about the subject but it goes along with what yashu was saying

I recently turned ina pet store I mentioned on here and animal control only issued a citation for the sick rats. As to over crowding etc, the remark was they are feeders with a short life span (That was animal controls take)
 
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