Dear PETA: I have a neighbor who is being extremely rough with his Golden Retriever. He kicks the dog with the side of his foot whenever she is in his way. The dog weighs about 80 pounds and is not likely to be seriously harmed by the kicking. However, the dog is pregnant. Is this animal abuse? Would you recommend reporting this to the police?
Mike, thank you so much for reporting this to us! Is there any change [sic] at all of sneaking some footage of this? How hard does he kick her? Also, could you give me the name and address of the owner, and can you tell me what her living conditions are like- does she live inside, outside, chained, is she fed properly, etc? Please be assured that we take your anonymity very seriously.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Dear Rachel: Thanks for getting back to me. I am not prepared (morally or technologically) to surreptitiously film my neighbor. He is not kicking the animal very hard. It would not be an issue but for the pregnancy of the animal. She lives outside, is unchained, and appears to be fed properly. As an armed citizen, I am wholly unconcerned with the issue of anonymity. I am more concerned with wasting my time with the authorities as I just don’t know whether there is a crime to report. The litter appears to be at risk, not the mother. I wonder whether the owner is even liable if any of those unborn puppies is either stillborn or deformed. I honestly don’t know the answer. Any help you can provide is appreciated.
Dear Rachel: Moments after I wrote you, I received an email from PETA containing the following passage, which is relevant to my inquiry: “We speak up for, among others, rabbits and foxes who are skinned alive for the fur trade, chickens and cows who suffer hellish conditions on factory farms just to end up on someone's dinner plate, and the dogs who should be treated as part of the family (emphasis mine) but are relegated to a lonely life on the end of a chain. PETA is the voice for animals who have none (emphasis also mine).”