On Playing God with Dogs

September 28, 2010

On man is dead and another stabbed, recovering in the hospital.  There are 70 or so dogs, Shelties, that have been snatched up by authorities for now... "Sheriff’s authorities are working to ensure that the animals are current on their vaccinations and are all spayed or neutered."  Who the fuck does Meagher County Sheriff Jon Lopp think he is to make permanent decisions for these dogs?

"The Meagher County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident that left William McDonald, 63, dead from a single gunshot wound Saturday morning in Sixteen [, Montana]...  When deputies arrived on scene they found McDonald dead and the owner of the home, Michael Eckberg, 61, had suffered multiple stab wounds.  Eckberg was transported to a nearby hospital and is listed in stable condition.  Officers recovered approximately 70 Shetland Sheepdogs, commonly referred to as "Shelties," at the crime scene."

"According to Lopp, the two men lived nearby and some of McDonald's 70 Shetland sheepdogs were recovered on Eckberg's property on Saturday."

I don't know what the fight between these 2 men was about and don't much care for now.  I do KNOW that these dogs still have an owner out there, whether it is the survivor of the fight or the heirs of the dead man.  Temporary caretakers of animals in emergency situations, which is what this is, should NOT be making irreversible decisions for animals within hours and without sorting out the preliminaries like OWNERSHIP.

Meagher County Sheriff's office - 406-547-3397. Please call them and demand that they NOT permit the local Lewis and Clark Humane Society to spay/neuter these dogs until ownership is determined and owner consent obtained.  If the Lewis and Clark Humane Society can't keep the dogs separated from the bitches, they shouldn't be in the animal care business at all!

The concept that authorities can spay/castrate (or perform any other non life preserving extraordinary medical procedures on) any dog, cat or other animal that comes into their custody without first determining and obtaining owner consent is a particularly dangerous one that has already spread much too far.  You or I could be in a horrific accident tomorrow and I damned sure don't want some law enforcement officer or humane lunatic with a God complex making permanent, irreversible decisions for ANY of my animals because they are in the custody of law enforcement or others for a few hours!

Grab your phone and let Sheriff Jon Lopp of Meagher County, Montana, know that owners care what happens to our animals even after we are no longer available to speak for them and that he is WRONG to make permanent decisions for dogs or other animals only temporarily in his care.  406-547-3397

Go Back

you are the epitome of ignorant.

wow, talk about over stepping one's authority, but then that does seem to be a constant theme we are seeing in cases like these...

Update via responsible people involved in Sheltie Rescue groups: it was determined that the dogs were owned by the man who died, and that he had no heirs. Thus, the dogs are rightfully under the control of local law enforcement, and are presently in the care of the LCHS. Numerous sheltie rescues in other areas will be taking these dogs to foster until new permanent homes are found. The dogs will be S/N before going to foster care. It is reported that HSUS attempted to get itself put in charge of this situation so it could make a media event/fundraiser of it, but the sheriff and LCHS nixed that. Some HSUS volunteers assisted with rounding up and moving the dogs from the property. The LCHS has taken care to keep nursing pups with their dams and to separate pregnant bitches from groups of others. Based on this report, the situation seems to be under control and handled appropriately.



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