Letter to the editor: Advertisement’s claim on NDVMA was inaccurateThe Jamestown Sun recently published a full-page ad containing several false statements about Measure 5. I write to correct this false information.
By: Karen Thunshelle, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Sun recently published a full-page ad containing several false statements about Measure 5. I write to correct this false information.
1. The North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association does not oppose Measure 5. Nancy Kopp, the executive secretary of the group, wrote in an email to a person who inquired on October 18, 2012 that “The ND Veterinary Medical Association is not opposing Measure 5, we are just not supporting it…” Also, while the NDVMA does not support the measure, dozens of individual North Dakota veterinarians actively support a “Yes” vote.
2. It’s true that Measure 5 only includes dogs, cats and horses, and that’s because those three companion animal species are the most likely to be abused, and it’s limited to those species so it does not have any impact on hunting, farming or other North Dakota traditions. It does not leave other species to fend for themselves, because the current misdemeanor cruelty law will still protect those species and for all other forms of cruelty and neglect.
3. Opponents claim acts of cruelty are rare, but one case of extreme cruelty is one too many. We need laws on the books that reflect our values. Forty-eight states have felony penalties for animal cruelty, and North Dakota should join them. Some of the cases of extreme cruelty in North Dakota include:
* In Grand Forks, a Chihuahua was beaten to death during a home invasion.
* In Fargo, a woman allegedly took her Lhasa apso, Buddy, to a bar and swung him in the air by his collar and leash, nearly choking the dog to death.
* In Cass County, a man killed his cat, Momma, by slitting her throat with a box cutter. He was ordered to serve 40 hours of community service and pay $300 in court costs.
* In Bismarck, a man slammed a puppy on a counter, stepped on its head, and killed it, apparently to threaten his cousin’s girlfriend, the puppy’s owner.
4. Measure 5 in no way impedes efforts to pass a stronger animal cruelty in the future as opponents of Measure 5 claim they want to do. A statewide vote in favor of Measure 5 will send a strong message to legislators that voters care about preventing animal cruelty and want lawmakers to take this issue seriously.
5. Measure 5 does not prohibit euthanasia of any animal. It does not affect the killing of an animal unless it includes malicious and intentional cruelty. Only specific acts of cruelty such as beating or dragging an animal to death are prohibited by Measure 5.
(Thunshelle is campaign manager for North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty)