I’ve tried to keep my June 26 post about Mary Wild and the heat-related deaths of the show dogs left overnight in her van after a show weekend updated with new links as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has posted additional articles.
Today’s update reported that Wild has been charged with eight counts of animal cruelty, and is free on $2,500 bond.
While I absolutely think that Wild was criminally negligent and that criminal charges are appropriate, I was a little surprised to find that this would still be considered a misdemeanor; specifically a Class A misdemeanor, which could involve up to one year of imprisonment and up to $1,000 in fines.
I say a “little” surprised because in the past few years, many states, including Missouri, have made changes to their animal cruelty statutes. But as in most states, the death of an animal, even in a case like this, would not be a felony unless it was a repeat offense or unless torture was involved. I’d put heat stroke up there as a horribly torturous way to die, but I don’t believe that is how it will be seen by the courts.
We’re about to get another wave of high temperatures here in the Chicago area this week. Put the safety of your human and animal family members as a major priority. If you see someone stupidly putting their children or pets in danger, get help or get involved. Stay safe and cool, everyone.
(NaBloPoMo | July ’09: 6 of 31 | 75% Challenge: 163 of 274)