By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- The Colonel and I have a small farm out in western Wisconsin.
We are in the process of getting an old logging road improved and some new hiking trails established. To get to the top of our property, you have to walk up a very steep hill, which can easily tire you out. I have placed a bench at the top so that when you get up there, you can sit down and rest.
Recently I was walking the logging road with the Colonel showing her where I plan to place more benches on our land. I told her I was planning on numbering the benches so we could refer to them as a location on our property. All of our family dogs that died over the years while the Colonel and I were in the Air Force stationed away from home have their ashes buried on the farm. The daughter suggested that instead of numbering the benches, we should name them after our dogs.
She then started calling our future wilderness furniture Dog Angel Benches.
My sister-in-law, who owns the adjacent land, was with us. She has decease family dogs, so we all agreed to include her Dog Angel names on benches. We have a lot of dirt work to accomplish before the benches will be established in their proper locations. In the end, however, there will be great resting areas on the climb up our hill and a utilitarian way to remember and honor the animals that enriched our lives.
Sadly, after today, I am going to have to make a bench I had not planned on. Instead of the name of a great family pet, lovingly remembered it will read “The Unwanted and The Unloved.”
In Cudahy, Wisconsin someone took a young female pit bull dog down to the beach of Lake Michigan. They tied the dog to a jetty and then shot the poor thing multiple times. But they did not kill the animal. They just left it there bleeding and suffering, perhaps all night. The animal could be heard howling way up on the bluff, and the police responded. The Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) took possession of the animal and tried to render medical treatment. I have seen the pictures of the gunshot wounds on the body of the living animal. There was her blood spray on the side of the jetty, and the blood coughed up inside the animal cage that held the dog before MADACC had to euthanize her to stop the pain and suffering.
The sad thing was looking at the picture of her sitting in that cage–she looked like a pretty nice dog who just wanted to be taken home, loved and cared for by a decent pet owner.
I understand there are too many dogs in the world and too many irresponsible pet owners who fail to control the breeding of their animals. I understand animals get hurt or sick and have to be euthanized. I do not know if this pit bull was ill and the potential veterinarian bills were going to be just too much of an expense for the owner. I do not know the circumstances, but I do know you do not tie an animal to a piece of concrete and use it for late night target practice–only to leave it alive to howl in suffering agony.
There was no collar, no chip or tattoo, so there is no name for the animal. We may never know the name or the story of why the animal was shot and left for dead. So now we have the “unwanted, unloved and unnamed.” I am a retired military officer, and retired policeman, but I am also a father and a pet owner. I have seen a lot of human to human violence in my many professional years of work.
For your own personal survival, you have to train yourself to be hardened against much of life’s unpleasant situations, but the sight of a purposely injured helpless child or helpless animal is not only unacceptable but unconscionable. With a simple phone call, an unwanted animal can be collected from you and be properly (and humanely) handled without inflicting pain and suffering on the beast, anywhere in this country. I am sure if a thorough mental health workup could be done on every animal abuser we would start to see patterns of abuse in their own human lives. But you know what, I do not care.
Hurt an animal like this dead dog was hurt, and you will go to jail. According to the Burt Reynolds cartoon movie All Dogs Go to Heaven. I hope it is true, but I doubt it is true for abusive dog-killing humans.Major Van Harl USAF Ret
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]