Cant believe no one has covered this topic yet

plasticgardenOctober 4, 2007

Micheal Vick~the football player. The controversary surrounding his dog fighting ring,and how if dogs didnt perform well he personally killed them. Stabbed,electrocuted,and drowned.

How many of you think he should be doing jail time? how many of you think he shouldnt be allowed to play in the NFL ever again as well?

I for one think it's the most sick thing I've heard in a while. I dont see how someone capable of killing an animal so easily,(when clearly not even for food or hunting purposes) could be trusted not to go over the edge and think they also have a right to kill humans.

I'm quite shocked that I havent seen much outrage over the issue with animal lovers.

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Hashed and rehashed several times already.

Here are the possibilities---Feds get forst crack--minimal jail(up to 2 years) and fine.

Feds could drop/defer charges to the State---which can put him in proson for up to 40 years. The Feds have filed---and the State just filed.

If the Feds continue and prosecute, once his time is over for that charge, the State can proceed---it is not double jeapordy as the charges are different.

I have a feeling we will forget him before he is free.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 12:04PM
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But do you think he deserves to do time for it?
I do,but I know alot of people who dont.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 1:14AM
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The 'sport' of dog fighting has been going on for centuries. There used to be bear baiting and may still be bull baiting. Humans have an indefagable talent for torturing themselves and other animals for pleasure.

It makes little difference how I feel---will have zero impact on the situation. The results are that the State feels he is a super criminal---and they will do their best to see he is incarcerated for as long as they can do so.

However, I can understand the penchant of people who do this. I do NOT agree with it and am glad it is illegal. But, it is better for those people to torture dogs than to take out their sick perversions on people.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 8:56AM
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I think he should serve a long prison sentence.

And may he spend eternity burning in hell.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Handymac, I believe many of these degenerates will eventually move onto other humans instead of animals. And, in my opinion, any human who derives pleasure from torturing other creatures is a monster and needs to be dealt with accordingly, whether the victim is two-legged or 4-legged. But, I do agree that it's a moot point because what we think has zero impact anyway.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 4:05PM
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I have a fairly good understanding of your points. And can agree with them.

But, there is one possibility that is that some of those 'monsters' have some inborn/learned need to torture animals. If they were deprived of that possibility, they would have no recourse than to begin torturing humans. Some people just have something inside that makes them be mean to other living beings---animal or human.

I'm not including that type of person with the serial killer or homicidal maniac who starts with pulling the legs off grasshoppers and progresses to cannibalism or mass murder.

Then, how to differentiate between the person who is just mean---and will not escalate----from the person who is on the path to serious crimes against animals/people.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 9:11PM
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I was always told people who are cruel to animals are mentally ill,and it's also a sign that they will possibly move on to torturing humans.
To me it's not even the fact that he killed these's the WAY he killed them.These were torturous,painful deaths.It's not like he just shot them and put them out of their misery.Electrocution? We save that kind of death for only the severest criminals in our socirty.What did the poor dog do to merit such a painful death?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 4:20AM
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"But, there is one possibility that is that some of those 'monsters' have some inborn/learned need to torture animals. If they were deprived of that possibility, they would have no recourse than to begin torturing humans. Some people just have something inside that makes them be mean to other living beings---animal or human."

Is this just your opinion or based on factual data. If the latter, please post your references. I am honestly curious, I have never heard of such a theory, let alone data to back it up and would be sincerely interested in reading any material!

Cheers - Sarah

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 2:47PM
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Just an opinion, from 50+ years of observing human nature.(I did not do much observing for the first ten years.)

Surrogate therapy is a viable treatment for some patients---my theory is just an extension of that procedure.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 11:16PM
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Handymac, I just don't feel that letting sickos take out their perversions on animals to try and keep them from hurting humans is right. I really think people who are mean or evil should have no place in society. My husband watched a documentary about the Ice Man, the Mafia killer. He killed upwards of 200 people, and he started on animals when he was 10 years old. Now granted, he was a contract killer, not a secret serial killer like the Green River murderer, who, incidentally, was also cruel to animals. But, he managed to parlay his disgusting cruelty into a well-paying business, killing 200 people and getting rich as a result.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 3:01PM
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During a study of psychiatric patients it was found that those who repeatedly tortured dogs/cats ALL had high levels of aggression towards humans.

In addition, children torturing animals is also a sign of childhood abuse. "The Humane Society found that animals are abused in 88% of the families where children are abused." 88%!!!

Also, animal cruelty is a sign of mental disorders. In fact, cruelty to animals is listed as diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders in the Standard Diagnostic and Treatment Manual for Psychiatric and Emotional Disorders.

The FBI has recognized the link between animal cruelty and human violence since the 1970s, during a Bureau Analysis it was determined that most serial killers & rapists had killed or tortured animals as children. Other research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse.

Animal cruelty is not an outlet. Rather, it is a sign of childhood abuse, aggression towards humans and psychological disorders.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 3:24AM
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I do not condone any kind of cruelty----and I was a drill sergeant during the Viet Nam war---and could have been cruel at will.

The problem is that people have the right---at least in the US----to live their life as they see fit. Laws are made to protect society, but in reality, those laws simply provide an avenue for punishment for people who break them. People who act in the best interest of other people do not need the law in the first place.

Society will have a certain percentage of misfits. The single biggest problem confronting any society is how to cope with those persons. Do we deny them individual freedom based on probability? How do we prove a person will actually commit a violent crime because they are cruel in childhood? There is evidence of bad behavior caused by improper correction in childhood----we might actually be causing a serial killer to happen by preventing them from acting out as a child. Every attempt by a society to police/contain that kind of behavior has been a failure so far---be it through excess control or failed system.

Point is simply there is no fool proof way to stop malcontents and/or deviants from living as any other citizen---until they break a law.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 11:20AM
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Yes, but being cruel to animals IS breaking the law, and a red flag. Children who do this should have extensive, mandatory counseling and be watched closely. In Jeffrey Dahmer's case, his parents knew he was torturing and killing animals, but they considered them "just animals" and did not care. Which is disgusting, but unfortunately there are probably many other people who wouldn't care either and therefore these children will remain "safe" until they move on to humans and are eventually caught.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 12:22PM
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"we might actually be causing a serial killer to happen by preventing them from acting out as a child."

To the contrary, virtually all serial killers experienced abuse as a child and lacked a good relationship with a male role model. Furthermore, killers were often rejected by their parents and received little nuturing. Also, in many cases they are forced to live outside the home before they are 18.

Serial killers, as has been long accepted by scientists, also suffer from mental disorders. In fact, since the deinstitutionalization movement for mental health patients took place in the 1960s there was a rise in serial killings almost immediately.

Some of the most dangerous criminals have long histories of mental illness, but could not be locked up do to these strict laws.

Furthermore, it has been proven that there are genetic predispositions to serial killers. This has nothing to do with having an outlet, it is predetermined. Temporal lobe epilepsy can produce extremely unusual brain waves. However, this is rare & these waves are only found in approx. 10% of the population. Yet, these brain waves are found in over 79% of serial killers! Temporal lobe epilepsy is known to cause antisocial behavior, including anger, paranoia, and aggression. In addition, temporal lobe epilepsy causes electrical impulses to be discharged directly into the amygdala, which has caused violent behavior in lab animals.

Alcohol abuse is also a factor in murders. The majority of murderers had a urine alochol level of between .20 and .29, almost twice the legal level of intoxication (31 - 32). Also, 70% of families that raised serial killers had verifiable records of alcohol abuse.

Also, as I mentioned in my last post, when a child acts out violently it is usually a sign of abuse. It is a sure indicator that they need help. Under no circumstances should their behavior be allowed, it is not an outlet. While these actions should not be meant with hostility and aggression, they certainly need to be addressed.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 12:41PM
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I think being a pro athlete and being in the limelight is a privilege and carries responsibility. Kids and stupid people think sports figures are GODS, so they should behave themselves by being good roll models. Committing ANY kind of crime should be grounds for expulsion from the privilege of making tons of money for doing NOTHING IMPORTANT.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:02PM
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Oh, and for the record - though I am sure you have all heard this before - there are PLENTY of abused children and others who have suffered in life for whatever reason that do NOT become animal torturers and murderers. There are also way more people who use alcohol and do not become violent than those that do. My uncle was stabbed 36 times, mostly in the head and face, by a man who had a normal and happy childhood. What was his motivation?

I am so bored and tired of hearing people try to rationalize and explain away what amounts to nothing but evil behavior. If they can be helped in childhood, that is great, but unfortunately too many children with the "warning signs" are going to slip thru the cracks and grow up to become a danger to those around them, by then it will be too late.

We need to put our energy into helping people who are not a danger to the rest of us - and we need to get some changes made to the laws that protect animals here in the good ole' USA because, frankly, they are a joke. Maybe Vick did what he did because his attitude was the same as the laws - these dogs were "just animals", so what is the big deal? In the majority of the states, animals are considered "property", not sentinent beings with feelings. That needs to change. There need to be stronger penalties. Of course there are people who are compelled to commit crimes regardless of the consequences, but I would bet my life that for a large part of society, laws keep people in line. Even if they get an "urge", alot of men/women are smart enough to consider the consequences and make a different choice.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 9:20AM
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Sentient beings?????

1 : responsive to or conscious of sense impressions
2 : aware
3 : finely sensitive in perception or feeling

That is the definition of a being that is cognizant of their environment. Dogs/cats simply react to stimuli---they have no cognitive powers.

1 : of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (as thinking, reasoning, or remembering)
2 : based on or capable of being reduced to empirical factual knowledge

I support laws or requiring behavior that promoteds good care of animals---but they are just animals---not people. (Although there are a LOT of animals that are better company then many people!)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:31AM
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Handy.. many animals including dogs are indeed sentient. You have given 3 definitions of sentience. Each one qualifies as sentience on its own. One does not need to possess each of the 3.
That aside are dogs responsive to or conscious of sense impressions? Yes indeed they are.
Are they aware? Yep.
Do they possess finely sensitive in perception or feeling, yes they do.

1. having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.
2. characterized by sensation and consciousness.
With this they are indeed sentient...

Are cognitive? (not found in the definition of sentience...) But let's see:
Can and do dogs, think...yes, do they reason...if you have ever seen a a service dog, a hunting dog, a stray would see that dogs indeed can reason.
Do they remember, to learn one must remember. And Dogs learn.
Mammals are not insects. Dogs are not human, and I agree they should remain property, but as such should not be abused, because they do feel, and are aware of such injury, and will in fact learn to protect themselves if harmed. They know when they are abandoned by one owner and sent with another, dogs I have see can get what we may call depressed, even if fed and watered. They choose those they like and it is more than just who feeds them.
Cruelty to animals is unacceptable. It should never ever be tolerated.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 11:51AM
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I firmly believe animals are sentient beings. I've seen jealousy, cunning, depression, happiness, etc. in all of our cats and dogs. When one of our dogs passed away earlier this year, the other two were in very depressed states for a couple of weeks, would not hardly eat, had no interest in their toys or in going to the park and other activities they normally love. Animals express affection and interact, even if food or rewards are not involved. Attempting to classify them as objects that have no feelings or worth is just terrible.

Here's a buddhist point of view:

"A sentient being possesses a mind, whereas an automaton does not. Any animal whose survival strategy and behaviour appears to depend on the avoidance of suffering (rather than mere reflex actions) should be assumed to be sentient. Apart from being unethical, it is regarded as bad karma to deliberately inflict suffering on any sentient being (Buddhists believe that cruelty results in the suffering being experienced several times over by the one who inflicted it ). It is particularly bad karma to enjoy inflicting suffering."

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:10PM
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Dogs and cats are not sentient?? Is that a joke?? Certain beings just react to stimuli (like maybe insects), but not dogs and cats and many other animals. They are well aware of their environment, they sense many things, and they have many "cognitive powers".
You must know nothing about animals.
Are you saying a dog does not manipulate or "ask" for things? Are you saying that a dog cannot easily be trained to do very difficult tasks? Have you ever seen a guide dog? Is that just something that "reacts to stimuli"???
And as for "remembering", my dog happens to go to her food bowl every single day at 5pm - what would you call that?

"They are just animals---not people". Aren't people animals by definition? And who are you to say that the life of a human being is more valuable than the life of an animal?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:25PM
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Aren't people animals by definition? And who are you to say that the life of a human being is more valuable than the life of an animal?

Yes, indeed, humans are mammals.

How about birds? Birds can also be trained to do involved tasks---and even be taught to SPEAK! Squirrels have unmatched skills in problem solving and I believe elephants feel grief.

Sentience is the ability to be aware of ones being---animals do not have that facility. They do not have the power of reason.

Now, for the question of who am I to say an animals life is less important than the life of a human. I will aks a question in return. Where is your legal justification for saying an animals life is more important than a humans?

I know a great deal about animals---have had dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, white mice, snakes, lizards, and aquarium fish as family members at one time or another most of my life. I've bottle fed three day old kittens until they were able to eat on their own when their mother was killed. I raised an orphan opossum the same way---and released it into the wild. I presently have a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix dog I rescued---the local police were starting paperwork to have the dog declared a hazard and euthanize him. In fact, the officer who started the process has seen the dog after I began working with the dog---and cannot believe it is the same dog. All done with no corporal punishment---and NO crate---since the crate was much of the problem.

I spayed my own dog---under the supervision of the vet for whom I worked---she lived to the ripe old age of 16.

What is your experience?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:12PM
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I love animals, but I'm siding with you MaC!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Hady, no one anyone said an animal's life was *more* important than a humans..heck, I eat meat, and I hunt...God gave us dominion over animals, but that gives us know right to abuse, or neglect them.
It is a responsibility we have as creatures of higher intelligence, to regard them with dignity.
Now, Being an educator, I can tell you that many animals are sentient, by definition, the dictionary definitions that were posted. You don't like those definitions now... so you make up your own and disregard the rest.
You were unable, to dispute the definitions you posted so you detract by saying you spayed you dog...that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, nothing.
Did you know some parrots can fact they make up words based on other words that they know...that is reasoning. Again, you have shown us nothing that disputes the definitions( you posted) of sentience and how that relates to dogs or other mammals...sorry Mac...all you did was go on and on about things that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.
I may never have performed surgery on an animal, but Mac you are not the only one here with years and years of experience with all sorts of creatures.
Too bad you think you are.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 8:46AM
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I do not need "legal justification" to say that an animal's life is just as valuable as a human's life. LIFE IS LIFE...period. Do I need legal proof to justify this??? Shall I go to Exhibit A? I mean, come on.

You are just completely wrong when you say animals do not have the power to reason - can I see some literature on this? I don't have any literature saying the opposite, but I have experience and knowledge that dogs in fact DO have reasoning skills. You sound absolutely ridiculous in just about every statement you make.

The crate was NOT the problem with your rescue dog - you were the problem. Anyone knows that if you use a crate correctly, it is a great tool for both you AND your pet. And there is TONS of literature on that. You claim to know a lot about animals, but you are clueless. Like in your "crating" thread when you stated that dogs are pack animals and you therefore should have 2 dogs instead of just one - where do you get this?? Dogs have been man's best friend for centuries. In the wild, dogs used to follow man and protect him and be loyal to him - with or without a "pack" - man and dog make up a pack. If you know how to be an "alpha dog", then you and your dog can be a other dogs needed.

You spayed your own dog?? Wow, that's really something to be proud of. A layman doing veterinary surgery. That's just unethical and irresponsible, and it has no relevance to the topic at hand.

Unlike you, I don't need to "show off" my experience. I have common sense, something which you obviously lack. But just a few things - I have owned dogs all my life, I worked as a vet tech for 3 years, I trained dogs for 7 years, and I've read TONS of books on dogs. Sorry if that's not enough to "impress" you.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:05AM
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Well, I certainly am impressed with your experience. Oh, did you miss the part where I mentioned the spaying was done under the watchful eye of the vet? Who had enough confidence in my ability to allow that in the first place?

However, it is my opinion you have yet to see animals as animals---you persist in seeing human traits in instinctive behavior.

Which is one of those inalienable rights we have in the US.

So, I know I am right---and you are trying to convince yourself you are. I guess we must agree to disagree. ;)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:20AM
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Actually, yes you did mention that you spayed an animal under a vet's supervision - and that was the most disconcerting part of what you said. If you are not a DVM, then what you and that vet did was completely illegal.

I do not see dogs and cats and the like as humans. They are a different species and should be treated as such, because their behavior is instinctively different. However, I do see animals for what they are. And they are a lot more than what you portray them as.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 1:24PM
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Good Lord, if I had known what an argument this would become, I would have used a word other than sentient, like "capable of feeling", which is what I meant.

I do not see anywhere in Gabi's post that she attributed human feelings to animals, just that she believes that there is more to them than only acting on instinct.

Consciousness, or the ability to think and feel, is not limited to humans. A dog may not be aware of all the things we are, no doubt they are more simple than humans and do not think and reason the same way as we do or have the same degree of self awareness - but that doesn't mean that a dog does not have its own inner world experiences, based on more that just instinct.

Of course we are all entitled to our opinions, and I suppose that handymac is also an animal lover, so that's ok. It is someone with the same opinions paired with a capacity for cruelty that is a problem. I choose to believe in more than just animal "instinct", and I am certainly not alone in my feelings. I don't really care what other's opinions are, but I do care that no animal suffers because of it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Handy, did you use anesthesia when illegally spaying your dog?? If so, why? If the dog is not aware... why do anything to prevent pain? It would make no sense to do so.

Again, no one here has said anything about animals being treated like humans or better than humans. In fact I even called them property..which when I own a dog it is my property, but I am to care for that property within the lines of reason and law. Sorry, but you failed at least on one of those points.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 2:08PM
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My, my, illegally spaying? The operation was done in the clinic, under anesthesia, in the same sterile environment as every other operation. I was nthe one weilding the scalpel, clamps and needles instead of the vet----who was assisting me just as I assisted him. I would detail each step before performing it and he would ok it or make corrections. Since I was intending on becoming a vet at the time, we both decided this was a good opportunity to see what I had learned from working with him. Which was the reason I took the fifty cent an hour job in the first place.

That was several years ago----1963 ---- as I recall and there were no laws broken to our knowledge. So, kinda a moot point, yes?

My point in mentioning that instance was to provide examples of my experience with animals--which is a bit more braod than most pet owners.

But, if someone feels they have better knowledge, so be it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 2:35PM
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Strange thing - I was just reading a past thread and look what I found, written by Handymac ;)

"My son/DIL have a dog that is the closest I have ever seen to being human. He understands complex ideas and does things he was never taught."

LOL - sorry Handy, I just couldn't resist :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 4:10PM
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Heh heh---I still stand behind both statements---sometimes the exception proves the rule. (Big smilie here)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:52PM
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Handy, it IS illegal to operate on an animal even if assisted by a DVM...if you are NOT A DVM. Facts is facts.
You may not like the facts, but that is moot, isn't it?
And to say you have had more experience because you operated albeit illegally on an animal is ridiculous. Operating on an animal does not make you a more experienced pet owner.

Do tell, did you use anesthesia of any kind? ( You ignored this question earlier).

You have proven nothing except you do not know what sentience means. Or you do and you think you had the one sentient dog ever born...oh please!!

This may help:

Sentience refers to utilization of sensory organs, the ability to feel or perceive subjectively, **not necessarily including the faculty of self-awareness**. The possession of sapience is not a necessity. The word sentient is often confused with the word sapient, which can connote knowledge, consciousness, or apperception. The root of the confusion is that the word conscious has a number of different usages in English. The two words can be distinguished by looking at their Latin roots: sentire, 'to feel'; and sapere, 'to know'.

Sentience is the ability to sense. It is separate from, and not dependent on, aspects of consciousness.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sentience

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Ok, Wiki outranks Webster---I concede dogs are sentient. And I do not remember saying the dog my son and DIL have---the one who is the exception-----is the only unusually connected to human dog.

They do not have the power of reason, however, which is basically what separates the other animals from humans. nThat is sentience to me----but semantics is always prime for misundertsanding.

Where did I say just spaying my own dog qualified me as more experienced pet owner. I said that act was part of the experience I have that most pet owners do not have---not just the act----oh, and I cannot find any law that covers that----in my state, anyway. My relationship with horses, cats, ferrets, white rats, snakes, and even the hunting I used to do adds to my knowledge about animals and their behavior.

And, I did mention---at least twice---anethesia was used. I guess I should not mention the time the vet and I treated a bird dog who was so weak that anesthesia would have killed it---it had been hit by a car and had its pelvis shattered. We saved that dog, BTW.

I have a lot of expereince with dogs, horses, and kids. My success working with troubled individuals from all three groups proves to me---and to the folks around me who see the results----I am able to use my knowledge in a constructive way.

Oh, I also mentioned I worked for the vet to see if I really wanted to be one---I found out I did not---I could not accept how many pet owners acted. That was when I was 16-18 years old---I am 61 and I was as correct in my judgement then as I am today.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Handy, I never said that wiki out ranked Webster's. But you do seem to confuse the two words.
Even the Webster definition, only proves that you are incorrect about this, or are just misunderstanding it.
Dogs and do can reason, you have proven nothing to the contrary.

Now, as far as the brought it up as a point, not sure then why if was not to prove you out ranked other pet owners, you brought it up.

Why did you use anesthesia...if the animals cannot sense, what is it for?

I know Handy, you mean well, and I am sure you are a good guy. You sound like an animal lover and a compassionate man...but I believe you are 100% wrong on this issue.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 2:02PM
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Ilm sorry I cannot be clear enough for you to understand my points. This is a debate forum---without two sides, there is no debate.

There are a lot of people who understand me---I am finding on many pet forums there are only a few. I do not know why that is, the internet is a wonderful way to exchange ideas.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 3:50PM
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Handy, we debated.. we might find few understand you on these forums because you are not consistent...
Again, you don't have many agreeing with you, it happens. Maybe you could see this as an opportunity, to see things from a different perspective. :)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 4:49PM
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Using the word like I did in my first post, I DID mean it as the ability to feel - and I think we all agree that animals CAN feel, that most other living creatures can feel and do what they can to protect themselves from harm, even a spider will try to jump out of the way if he sees a newspaper coming down fast on him!

The point is that the LAWS do not see it this way. Is anyone familiar with the trial coming up in PA about the woman who took a chained dog from someones backyard that had been lying half dead on the ground for 3 days? The owners didn't care, the local animal "cop" didn't care, finally a neighbor called local Tammy Grimes from DogsDeserveBetter, she took the dog ( owners were not home, she tried knocking ) and got him vet care - the neighbors and the vet said the dog was abused. Tammy refused to return the dog to a bad situation and was arrested - stealing, etc. Her court date (juried trial) is coming up this week - but because of the Pennsylvania law that dogs are nothing but property, the judge threw out the evidence from the vet and other eyewitnesses to the severe mistreatment of this dog. Without that, this woman has no case. All the jury will hear is that she stole this dog - she can give her reasons, but there will be no evidence to back her up.

By the way, becuase of this, she was a finalist - or possibly the winner - of Animal Planets Hero of the Year.

You can read the whole story on , but I was thinking of this story when I made my original point, dogs are "property" and the laws only protect them as such - I suppose this is also how the notorious Amish puppy mills in Lancaster PA get away with what they are doing in the name of breeding. And it really needs to change.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Dogs as other animals ARE property, how else shoulf they be classed??

Lancaster is not the only area with Amish puppy mills, they are scattered over any area Amish live including here in western Pa. There are periodic attempts at laws to control the mills but the laws are almost always too vague and harmful to responsible breeders. They get shot down. Because I breed several hunting dog females each year to improve the breed and supply quality dogs to interested buyers, I should not be punished and financially damaged by over reaching laws. Breeders are not generally puppy mills no matter the number of whelps.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 2:50PM
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i know that their are Amish puppy mills in other areas, I used Lancaster as an example because that is probably what most people have heard of. Of course not all Amish are breeding dogs, just like all breeders are not irresponsible, though it is my opinion that a limit should be brought on how many animals a breeder can bring into the world each year, due to the sheer numbers of unwanted pets abandoned on the streets or in shelters. I am sure alot of people will disagree with me, or say that they breed because there is a demand, but just because people demand a type of dog does not mean that they will do right by it, even the purebreds...shelters are full of purebreds. I don't know exactly what the statistics are, but there are ALOT of bad breeders out there, who care ONLY about the money.

It is hard to say just how animals should be classified, if not as property...I mean, my bar-b-q grill is my property, but no one is going to care if I don't treat it well. The classification should not be the same when it comes to animals. Of course there are laws against abusing an animal, but most times they amount to a fine or some other minor slap on the hand. THAT is what needs to change.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 7:07PM
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First let me apologize, I have not read all of the posts, incase I am repeating. I would like to point out a couple facts.

First, from what I have observed on this forum Handy bases his opinions on his own personal experience. Then he states them as fact. Opinions based on personal experience tend to be inaccurate (from slightly to grossly depending on the circumstances) simply because one individuals personal experience is limited when compared to those who actually study the topic at hand professionaly.

The fact is science is still out on the exact intellect (whether they can reason, what level of emotions they posess, etc., etc.) of dogs (among with many other creatures). In fact, there are currently many ongoing studies to try to determine the truth. As most are probably aware, one study never gives us answers. The results must be duplicated over and over again to give us a definitive answer. As I said, these studies are going on now and no answers have been given.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 12:34PM
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Did anyone else see the chimps which bested humans on memory, it was on a news program Monday nite.

I have bred several breeds of scent hounds for about 40 years and I have seen times where I was amazed at what seemed like a reasoning, figuring out a difficult trail for instance. I dont attribute that to reasoning tho, I think it is due to selection for required genetic improvement in a given path.

I do consider most animals more than mere property as one might consider the BBQ grill. Yet they are propety, we are responsiblew for their humane care, their. I see too many people with animals making babies who have invested no research into pedigrees and goals. They havent a clue what they are doing and have no desire to learn. I also see those who take great care in researching how best to make a mating, they strive for a better result and are assets to the animal industry. How do we legislate a difference? Laws by their nature effect more than those they are intended to correct. Its a tuff thing, but I generally feel less laws is best..

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 11:08AM
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I was gonna stay out of this---but---the comment about studies about

Quote----The fact is science is still out on the exact intellect (whether they can reason, what level of emotions they posess, etc., etc.) of dogs (among with many other creatures). In fact, there are currently many ongoing studies to try to determine the truth. As most are probably aware, one study never gives us answers. The results must be duplicated over and over again to give us a definitive answer. As I said, these studies are going on now and no answers have been given. Unquote.

Have me amazed. Could you or anyone show me where any of these studies are taking place? I would be extremely interested to find ALL my training(not just opinions) has been wrong.

Oh, one other thing, my opinions are given because they work on multiple animals---proven techniques and procedures. That makes them fact in a scientific sense.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 6:40PM
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(FYI, it is finals week therefore I will probably not be able to respond to any responses in a timely manner.)

No Problem, Handymac...

However, first off, I would like to address the fact that you think your own personal experience is scientific fact because it has been repeated over numerous animals of your own.

First, unless you are actually a highly trained scientist you have no concept on how to conduct a study. You do not know what specifically to observe, how to record & interpret the data and how to draw scientific conclusions based on said data, just to name a few.

Second, Rene Descartes (the renowned French philosopher, scientist and mathematician) preformed an intelligence study on dogs. His data was criticized because he used less then 200 dogs. My guess is you have not repeated your results with over 200 dogs. To state that your very, relatively small, experience can be proved as factual scientific data is laughable. Especially since Descartes data would not have been presented as conclusive after one study, rather it would be presented as theory and would require more studies to reach the realm of conclusive scientific data.

As for the studies you want me to list, I am afraid there is not enough time in the world for me to list them all. Studies on the canines intelligence date back to over 1000 years ago and thousands are still ongoing today. If you were truly interested you would have had no problem obtaining this data already. Just a short visit to your library. You will want to do a simple search for "Ethology", which is the zoological study of animal behavior. You can also search for "Animal Cognition".

Please note, on studies that are not completed there is little to no printed data available to the public. I can provide you with completed studies and the names of departments that have ongoing studies. Many Universities have Ethology Departments.

For your convenience, though, I will list a few:

"Science" is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is considered one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. In this journal you can find Juliane Kaminski's paper on Rico, a Border Collie whom has learn over 200 words. Rico could remember the names of several items for up to four weeks after its last exposure (Kaminski eliminated the Clever Hans effect using strict protocols). Rico was also able to interpret phrases such as "fetch the sock" in terms of its component words (rather than considering its utterance to be a single word). Rico could also give the sock to a specified person.

Next is a study that was completed by Dr. Stanley Coren's and detailed in his book, "The Intelligence of Dogs". Dr. Coren asserts that there are three kinds of intelligence displayed by dogs which include the following: adaptive intelligence (the ability to solve problems); instinctive intelligence (characteristics and behaviorisms that are genetically driven); and lastly working / obedience intelligence which refers to the ability to obey and carry out instructions.

There is also "The Dog Genome Project" which is studying the inheritance of approximately 31 traits or characters in dogs. This is a collaborative project between scientists at the University of California at Berkley, the University of Oregon, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. You can read more about this study in the Smithsonian Nov. 1996 pp. 126-137.

At Eotvos Lorand University's Department of Ethology researcher Adam Miklosi has been studying dogs in their human habitat for over a decade. Mr. Miklosi and his colleagues have accumulated a body of evidence suggesting that dogs have far greater mental capabilities than scientists had thought. The implications of this research are more esoteric than the average dog owner may appreciate.

The Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has ongoing studies regarding the evolution of different cognitive processes in certain animals, including the dog.

There are also ongoing studies at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Recently studies, focused primarily on canines, demonstrate that dogs feel the rhythm and harmony of music in the same way humans do. Particularly classical music, made dogs rest more and stand up less.

A new study on dog intelligence, carried out at Harvard, now finds that dogs also have evolved a particular ability to pick up on human gestures. It is an ability other species notably lack.

Here is a list of various studies. I will least recent along with dated studies to show the range of infomation. However, nothing yet has been conclusive and science today is disproving the science of yesterday.

A Dogs Got Personality: A Cross-Species Comparative Approach to Personality Judgments in Dogs and Humans
Samuel D. Gosling, University of Texas at Austin
Virginia S. Y. Kwan, Princeton University
Oliver P. John, University of California, Berkeley

The Neuroscience of Animal Intelligence
Euan M. Macphail

Animal Learning and Cognition
John M Pearce

The Sensory Capacities & Intelligence of Dogs
C.J. Warden, Animal Laboratory, Dept. of Psychology, Columbia University
L.H. Warner, Animal Laboratory, Dept. of Psychology,
Columbia University

Tests on Adaptive Intelligence in Dogs & Cats
W.T. Shepard, PhD, Waynesburg College

Animal Intelligence: Experimental Studies
Edward L Thorndike

The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition
Marc Bekoff, Colin Allen
Gordon M. Burghardt

On the Senses, Instincts, and Intelligence of Animals
John Lubbock

Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition
Adam Miklosi

--Just to name a few :-) Cheers - Sarah

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 3:22AM
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Ok, my mistake---I thought the issue was the ability of dogs to reason. I agree dogs feel, sense, and can puzzle out problems.

Dogs cannot decide on a course of action determined by picking before hand from a self generated list of possible approaches to accomplish said course of action.

And I concede my experience is not scientific. My methods work, however, which is much more useable than scientific study. Which is important to do, but not useable until completed. While science tries to discover why dogs act the way they do, folks need to be able to treat dogs in the best way they can----but not create a situation whereby dogs are treated as if they had human characteristics. Any competent trainer will tell owners dogs need to be treated as dogs---not humans. I worry less about why dogs act as they do as about what I need to do to adapt their instinctive and learned bahavior to be assets instead of liabilities. Which is actually the kind of information needed by the scientists to answer their questions.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 11:48AM
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Handy, we ALL can say "my method works"...that doesn't prove anything. I don't think anyone would take your methods as "scientific".

Here we go again with your rambling. You start talking about the topic at hand, which is dogs being able to reason, and then start up again about dogs being treated as humans AGAIN. Why do you keep bringing this up when nobody except you is discussing it? I don't recall anyone disagreeing with you about it. It seems that when someone proves you wrong in a certain area, you go off on a rant about something completely unrelated.

Here you go...since you keep bringing up the human thing, I'll humor you and "debate" with you on it, OKAY?

I'd rather people treat their dog like humans than abuse them. Most dog owners will tell you that they treat their dogs like humans to some extent. You keep saying that is harmful to a it isn't. I'm not talking about literally thinking your dog is your human child - I'm simply talking about things like:
1. Talking to your dog (which in your belief system is WRONG because in packs dogs don't speak, other than communication via barking of course. Maybe we should all bark at our dogs?).
2. Taking your dog to a vet (that's wrong too, right? Pack animals don't go to the doctor, they lick their wounds. Should I lick my dog's paw if she cuts it on glass instead of getting it stitched up?).
3. Putting a collar and leash on the dog (Can you imagine??? How would a DOG in the wild make a collar and leash?).
4. Allowing a dog on the couch or bed (now that's REALLY dangerous to a dog, isn't it Handy?).
And the list goes on and on and on.

You know what I think? I think you sit home and watch Caesar Milan (AKA The Dog Whisperer) all day and you parrot his methods on this forum. That is where your "opinions" come from, along with all your EXTENSIVE experience.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 3:02PM
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I worry less about why dogs act as they do as about what I need to do to adapt their instinctive and learned bahavior to be assets instead of liabilities. Which is actually the kind of information needed by the scientists to answer their questions.

Covers all of the things you made up and attritibuted to me.

But, it seems you don't wish to understand what I am saying. So, I am done trying. I know when to say Uncle.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 7:04PM
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I would LOVE to understand what you're saying, Handy. Maybe if you stayed on topic and made some sense I would have an easier time understanding you. But of course, it's MY problem that I can't understand you, right? I think many people on this forum have made it clear that they have no clue what your point is either. So could it actually be YOU?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 11:21AM
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gabro, some people are like Boomhauer on king of the hill. It takes time and practice to comprehent what they are saying.

Anyway, this guy got sentenced to 23 months.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 12:10PM
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Many of these same arguments used to exist regarding dark skinned people and females. In the early dark ages it was often thought that human females didn't even have a soul, much less have any need for the right to humane treatment and welfare.

Maybe we'll finally learn this time as well.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:04PM
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long time in jail. never again in the nfl!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 3:22PM
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"I would have used a word other than sentient, like "capable of feeling", which is what I meant.
Dogs cannot decide on a course of action determined by picking before hand from a self generated list of possible approaches to accomplish said course of action."
Wow, have you met an newborn infant, or incapacitated adult?
If I felt like murdering or torturing a patient in a coma, would it be okay since they were no longer capable of reasoning?
Humans used to do this to other humans, not so long ago.
Michael Vick is sick and needs to be in prison.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 4:12PM
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Who said it is better to torture and kill animals than torture and kill people!
Anybody who make such statement is questionable person who need treatment to be normal thinking compassionate person.
In my opinion, people who intentinally torture and kill animals deserve max jail sentence.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 8:52PM
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