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Dogs Tossed Into Alligator-Infested Water

Dogs Tossed Into Alligator-Infested Water

Dog fighters and neglectful dog owners have started dumping their unwanted animals into an alligator-infested canal in Florida.

Last week, animal control officers in Ft. Pierce rescued four dogs from a canal that is infested with alligators. The officers received an anonymous tip about the first dog and showed up to find an emaciated and wounded dog desperately trying to claw his way out of the canal.

One of the officers managed to get through the nearby woods and pull the dog out with a pole despite the treacherous area. The wounds on the dog told the officers that this had either been a fighting dog or a bait dog that had outlived its usefulness to whoever dumped him in the water.

Three dogs were rescued after that, and at least one of them had serious injuries around its neck including an embedded collar.

It’s unclear whether the dogs were dumped in the hopes they would be eaten by alligators or if the canal was simply in a sufficiently out-of-the-way spot.

The first rescued dog is in the care of the local Humane Society and will be eligible for adoption after he is treated for his wounds.

Animal Control says they’re powerless to stop this behavior without more cooperation and information from the local community.

Why would anyone do such a horrible thing? We find ourselves asking that question over and over again every time that we encounter a particularly unnerving story about animal abuse. We were understandably shocked and disgusted when Mike Vick’s dogfighting ring was the biggest news story.

The explanation isn’t as complicated as we’d like to think: to a person who throws a dog in a canal or puts them into a fight, an animal is just another piece of property. A person is free to destroy a TV that they paid for, and they’re free to dump a musty old chair in a dumpster, and for people who think of animals as just things, it makes sense to toss a dog in a canal when it’s no longer useful to you.

The real question isn’t why do people treat dogs so badly, but why do we flinch when people mistreat dogs but endorse the torture of other animals?

It’s horrible to think of what these dogs have been through: neglected, tortured, forced to fight, wounded and then tossed into a canal to fend off alligators. But we do a disservice to them and all other animals when we try to compartmentalize incidents like these. As long as we promote the idea that animals are property, then people will continue to treat dogs as badly as they treat cows, pigs, chickens and mice.

The answer to animal abuse isn’t more laws or stricter penalties, it’s creating a culture that doesn’t see any animal as a commodity to be used and discarded. We can’t look at a scared dog in a canal and a scared hen in a cramped cage and say that the suffering is different.

Rescuing and fostering animals like the ones saved from the Ft. Pierce canal is an important form of advocating for animals, but if your activism only supports dogs and does so at the expense of all other animals, then you’re only treating the symptoms of a much larger problem instead of working to fix the problem at the source. 

If we care about animals, we should work to help all of them, not just the ones we enjoy as companions.

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Photo: Caroline Theberge, NOAA

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11:11AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

it is an epidemic all over the world because satan is loose and governing this ungodly world till Jesus Returns. people, esp children ,and animals are always the first targets of abuse and cruelty. man can not change or alter the evil human heart , only Jesus can do that when the evil person asks Him too. So in the mean time it is up to us to petition our law makers to make laws with serious punishments to try and save the animals from the evil ones.

3:52AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

Penalties for this sort of thing should be serious, not just for the throwing into the canal but the whole dog fighting scenario, these people have no moral conscious and where will it end.

6:30AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

Only in America!! I have lived in other countries and other continents and have never encountered so much kindness to animals and at the same time so much cruelty. The cruelty borders on savagery. Those soulless monsters that throw dogs into a canal infested with alligators will throw a human in the canal, or a black hole for that matter, without a second thought. One wonders if these are real humans or the reincarnation of the devil. Where did they come from and why did they choose to descent upon America and do these horrific acts. On that note, because these monsters need to be extinguished from the face of the planet, the Congress should pass a Bill to pursue this horror, to find those who perform these horrific acts and punish them accordingly. Perhaps if they realized that they will be put to death in the same manner they chose for their victims they will think twice before they proceed to throw a dog or a cat or any animal in a canal infested with alligators. It might sound rather drastic but this is the only way to drive home that they either choose to live like humans or they should go back where they came from . . . . HELL!

5:37PM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

They throw them into the canal so the bodies are not found after a dog fight, or that they were used for a bait dog. What a shame that some people hold so little value on the life of an animal. They do not think they should have to care for them and love them as they are property, disposable property. Some day they will stand before God and have to explain what they did and why; I do not think any explanation would be accepted by God in this case. We need to stand up for these poor animals, remember WE ARE THEIR VOICE!!! Speak up when you see abuse of any kind, towards any animal. Only you can make a difference, teach your children to love animals not abuse them. Please never stand by and do nothing!!

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." -Anna Sewell

2:20PM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

We are told to understand the actions of our kind, which no animal would even think of
doing - I'm so sick of reading stories of heinous animal cruelty - as in the throwing of an
innocent dog into an alligator infested pond.......... these are someone's children - where are
the parents? Dorothy Eaton

2:16PM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

I find it very hard to come to terms with the savagery of our own species - how could a person
throw an animal into the water knowing there were alligators in it? Easy, I guess, if it's a small

3:47PM PDT on May 9, 2011

Abusing animals gives one permission to abuse another human being...

5:04PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

"The answer to animal abuse isn't more laws or stricter penalties, it's creating a culture that doesn't see any animal as a commodity to be used and discarded. We can't look at a scared dog in a canal and a scared hen in a cramped cage and say that the suffering is different." (copied off the top of the page) ummm interesting theory and its true to there will always be people who break the law but if they see what they are really doing in the eyes of these animals they might not want to do these horrific things

10:39AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

I love the way u wrote this story and added abuse on all animals..........Thank U!!!

8:38PM PDT on Apr 19, 2011

Well written article. I hope to live to see the day when people no longer cruelly exploit animals. Well I read so many stories of cruel acts against animals but this one takes the cake. What heartless b...tard's!!! Just makes my blood boil.

This needs to stop.

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