Thursday, May 27, 2010
One of the cases I am handling in the District Attorney's Office here in Memphis involves charges of Aggravated Animal Cruelty surrounding events at the Shelby County Animal Shelter. When I mentioned to my boss, District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, that I was involved in the matter, along with Dan Byer, another prosecutor in the office, he asked "why"? As the Chief Prosecutor of our Special Victims Unit (child homicides and child sexual abuse)he knew that I certainly had a full plate. I answered him honestly, by saying that since these animals were placed in the shelter for their protection, and since they were totally dependent on us for their survival, and collectively we let them down...what victims could be more "special". As many pet owners know, there can be a special bond between person and animal. It is just unreal to see people who still believe that their animals are simply property to be used,abused or thrown away as they see fit. I do not believe that. I am proud to treat these helpless creatures as the special victims that they are, especially in situations like this.