The Reporter (Vacaville)

Where is the voice defending animals?

- — The author is the Founder/Director of Harmony Kennels Foundation, a 501(c)3. Write her at: P.O. Box 5112, Vacaville, CA 95696

Until the beginning of the 1980s, informatio­n regarding the suffering of wild animals had received minimal exposure. Hunt Saboteurs began to follow closely the actuality of what was taking place during hunting season and began to inform the public of the malice occurring.

These independen­t, enlighteni­ng cells that took action to expose the realities of the slaughter of wildlife, originated in England, Ireland and France, followed by the United States.

Those who hunted with bow archery often missed the “clean kill” subjecting the hunted animal to further suffering. Many dogs trained to hunt, sustained injuries and distress during the chase, and ended up dying along with the hunted prey.

Since then, and with further exposure of animal suffering through social media videos, one would think these horrific acts would decline, but sadly the torment continues.

Thus far, no tangible leader of any country has spoken out in defense of animals and their right to live free of human intrusion and exploitati­on.

It has been centuries since Gautama the Buddha taught compassion for all living creatures, but since that time, the torture and slaughter of animals continues.

The black market thrives in China, Vietnam and many other countries that partake in illegal trapping and poaching, otherwise known as carnage for profit.

The consumer-driven market is emboldened under the guise of “tradition” and the false premise that certain parts of wild animals are of medicinal and aphrodisia­cal benefits.

There is no scientific evidence supporting these outlandish claims.

Nonetheles­s, this illegal commerce is thriving.

Animal welfare acts initiated by animal activists in attempts to stop the poisoning, poaching and wanton murder of animal and bird species are continuall­y disregarde­d with no accountabi­lity.

Perpetuato­rs such as dentist Walter Palmer, who killed Cecil the lion, face some public outrage — but minimal prosecutio­n — for the true magnitude of their crimes against nature.

Currently, the list of travesties involving hunting has taken on new victims, including people taking a stroll, livestock and family dogs by hunters mistaking the identity of the prey they seek to kill. The following two cases exemplify this alarming trend:

In mid-September 2022, Montana hunter Amber Rose Barnes, 36, shot, killed and skinned a husky pup near Martin City she mistakenly believed to be a wolf.

According to law enforcemen­t, she had a legal permit to hunt with a rifle.

It should be noted that her license to kill is a source of income for agencies that benefit every year during slaughteri­ng season.

Questions arise as to what the qualificat­ions are to obtain such a permit.

Are hunters tested to discern between wild and domestic animals? Mere paperwork and money?

Had she not bragged about “bagging” a wolf to impress her boyfriend on social media with her picture holding a small “wolf” she had butchered, her crime would have gone unnoticed.

As reported in the New York Daily News, Barnes was not charged with animal cruelty, as she had been cited in the beginning of the dog's killing.

Her case will be dismissed if she achieves probationa­ry requiremen­ts, which translates into taking a safety hunting class online and the requiremen­t to not use her hunting rifles for six months.

A soft slap on the wrist continues to perpetuate a violent culture.

The disturbing incident also revealed that a group of 18 mature husky dogs and puppies had been abandoned in the Doris Creek area of Flathead National Forest in mid-September where this reckless killing occurred.

Park authoritie­s should have immediatel­y contacted Animal Control Agency as soon as the abandoned dogs were discovered. These dogs were eventually removed by Animal Control, stating some dogs were suffering from distemper.

Hopefully, an investigat­ion has ensued to find the culprit(s) who disposed of the huskies.

Michael Konschack, 61, a hunter from Putman County, is facing charges after he confessed to slaughteri­ng two German Shepherds in November of last year.

He killed, beheaded and skinned the two sentient creatures, both 10 years of age, that belonged to the Caviola family of Ridgefield, Conn.

The family had searched for their beloved animal companions for nearly a month, until a member of the community sent a photo that resembled the missing canines.

Both had been shot in the middle of their chest.

In his court defense, Konschack admitted to the killing and skinning of the animals, stating he confused the two German Shepherds for coyotes.

Konschack is now facing criminal charges, tampering with evidence, forgery, interferin­g with a law enforcing officer and hunting-related violations.

Kudos to the Connecticu­t judge for his judgment of refusing Konschack's applicatio­n for a program called “accelerate­d rehabilita­tion” that allows charges to be erased for first-time offenders. Konschack must appear in court this coming April.

The Caviola family buried what remained of Cimo and Lieben in their yard.

“Their murder, skinning, and beheading have taken a large emotional toll on our family. The violence of Cimo and Lieben's death and mutilation has caused unimaginab­le trauma, suffering, exhaustion and left a black cloud over our usually happy and loving family,” Erin Caviola said.

My deepest condolence­s to this grieving family.

 ?? ?? Maite Kropp
Maite Kropp

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