LETTER: Some of us consider a dog much more than a pet

The Editor,

Re: Adrian MacNair’s "Sympathy for the dog killer Paulsen"

I commend that you were once a thoughtful and caring pet owner – so you must then, realize that some of us might consider a dog much more than just a pet.

I am compelled to rebut your article. No, we do not feast on dogs as we would on chickens because it would be considered strange, horrible and cruel. And unlike the arbitrary cow, duck and chicken, dogs are placed much higher in regard to many people for their service and companionship.

Dogs are NOT "North America’s version of the sacred cow". Dogs provide a vital service to law enforcement, rescue workers and ranchers. They give needed assistance to the unwell and infirm. They assist in hunting and vermin control. They offer protection and security for home owners. They provide companionship to the young and elderly alike. They are beyond being just an animal / pet and unsurprisingly are often treated as a family member. If cows, ducks and chickens could provide such comparable service, I’m certain we would then feel very differently.

The source of anger for Paulson is that she was entrusted with the care of a cherished pet/family member that died under her incredible negligence and stupidity. Everyone bought into her version of what had happened. She convinced everyone on camera that she was blameless in the crime. This story really made the news everywhere on print, tv and internet. Many people felt tremendous outrage and sadness over the mysterious multiple dog disappearance – especially dog owners.

It was incomprehensible, cruel and tragic how Paulson, in a fit of madness and/or self preservation chose to leave the pets in an enclosed hot vehicle and then toss them like garbage into a ditch just to deflect the blame from herself. She proved to be an outrageous psychopath and had only thought of herself. If she had told the truth early on and admitted the unfortunate mistake, she wouldn’t have invited such scorn and be thrown in jail.

She got six months. This works out to be one month for the life of each animal that she threw away like trash. I don’t think the owners who lost their beloved pet would have cared about monetary compensation in exchange of sentencing Paulson. What she won’t get from many of us is sympathy. What she got was justice.

I do know that perhaps one day we can all forgive her, but some of us may never forget what she had done.

Eduard Leigh,

Dog owner in Surrey