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News Opinion Readers Respond

Police must stop mistreating animals [Letter]

The headline says it all — "Baltimore police consider using nonlethal tranquilizers in animal cases" (June 20).

Duh! You think? Why hasn't a plan been in place to use tranquilizers since a steer has escaped in the city before and dogs have always gotten loose? How can a city not have a plan?

I was horrified that the police felt their only option was to kill that steer who after escaping death at a slaughterhouse and running for his life, was shot and killed. Other cities like Queens, N.Y. and Cincinnati, Ohio have been able to get these brave souls that do not want to die to an animal sanctuary. I volunteer at a wonderful sanctuary called Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville with people who gladly would have helped capture the steer and offer him refuge. I suggest Baltimore Police contact Poplar Spring and get a plan in place before another incident occurs. The police endangered the public far more than the steer would have by shooting with people nearby.

I was further horrified days later by the news that a police officer has been charged with slitting the neck of an escaped companion animal who was under control. This is insane. I would not have been nearly as calm as the woman whose dog this was appeared to be on TV. This dog was part of her family, and she must certainly be grieving as any of us who lose a companion animal would.

The steer knew what going to that slaughterhouse meant when he got off that truck — as all animals headed to slaughter do. They can smell the death, and despite people wanting to believe they are too stupid to know the difference to justify eating them, they feel extreme fear and terror. I've seen the undercover video and have seen the panic in their final minutes. It is pitiful, and I am vegan because of not wanting to participate in this horror. Farmed animals feel joy and pain just the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes. Think of that the next time you buy animal parts in the pristine packages at your grocer.

Jamie Cohen, Baltimore

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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