Using social media to stigmatize

Dateline: Mon 27 Dec 2010

Sunday's New York Times Styles section contained an interesting story about an Englishwoman, Mary Bale, age 50, who was fined about $400 for cat abuse in Coventry, England.

Ms. Bale, a bank worker at the time of the offense, was caught on a security camera tossing a tabby into a garbage bin. The cat's owners, 15 hours later, found their pussy; they also got a copy of the video and posted it online, hoping to locate the woman who was shown doing the deed.

Obviously, they did. The gist of the story is that social media can be a powerful force in sanctioning someone; Bale was featured on Facebook, with a page, "Mary Bale Should Be Locked Up for Putting Lola the Cat in a Bin." The page had 20,796 fans, and Bale was also the object of death threats and Twitter flak.

So now Indy has its own story, thanks to our Indianapolis Humane Society, which  "received" a puppy dumped off there Christmas eve. Read the account sent by John Aleshire, CEO of the society; Christine Jeschke, director of ops, and Tristan Schmid, who handles communications and marketing. The story also was featured on Channel 13 TV tonight, and probably other news outlets.

Anyhow, here's my censure: shame, for shame, on anyone who would dump an animal.

And here's the release:

"Indianapolis, IN - A tiny puppy confined inside a laundry bag was dumped outside of the Humane Society of Indianapolis (IndyHumane) on Christmas Eve, and the organization is asking for the public's help in identifying the owners of the vehicle.

 "The puppy was dropped off outside of IndyHumane (7929 N. Michigan Rd.) at approximately 12:30pm on Friday. Surveillance video shows a dark-colored Jeep Commander pulling up outside the shelter. Two men, a woman and a juvenile exit the vehicle. One of the men, wearing light baggy jeans, a black hoodie and a ball cap then removed a laundry bag from the trunk of the vehicle, left the bag outside in the cold and drove away. IndyHumane staff saw the people acting suspiciously from the window and immediately went to investigate the contents of the bag. They discovered a small female mixed-breed puppy inside. After making sure the puppy was safe, staff named her Krissy Eve.

"IndyHumane is asking for the public's help in identifying the owners of the vehicle: abandoning an animal in Indianapolis violates city ordinance. According to Sec. 531-402, Abandonment of animal: "It shall be unlawful for a person to abandon any animal on public or private property in the city, and a violation of this section shall be punishable as provided in section 103-3 of this Code; provided, however, a fine imposed for any such violation shall not be less than two hundred dollars ($200.00). Actions taken by colony caretakers in accordance with this chapter shall not be considered abandonment of an animal."

 "'While we are grateful that the puppy was brought to IndyHumane, and we were fortunate to discover her before she froze to death, it was cruel to transport her in a dark bag and leave her out in the cold. She could have easily died," said Christine Jeschke, Director of Operations for the Humane Society of Indianapolis. "The plight of homeless animals in our community is significant, and we need the community's support to help give these animals better lives."

" If you have information about the vehicle or the people who dumped the dog, please contact the Humane Society at 317-872-5650 x 0.  Donations to help care for Krissy and others like her can be made at the shelter or online at The Humane Society of Indianapolis invests $600 - $800 in the average care of animals like Krissy."

P.S., the dog is adorable.





Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The most disturbing part of this story: a child watched the "adults" do this disgusting thing.

This kind of cruelty is learned early--no one is born with this level of disregard. It has to be learned.

Hang 'em high.

2010-12-27 20:52:42

hendy [Member] said:

Don't judge until you have the facts.

The Humane Society used to charge $25 to drop off an animal. Some can't afford that. Better to drop off there then in a nearby ditch.

Maybe the puppy was found. Maybe unwanted. You don't really know.... and the child may be watching knowing that the parents are doing their best to drop off an unwanted animal. It's also possible the people knew that there were people there, and watching them.

2010-12-27 21:47:21

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Wow, Hendy...that's an unusual twist.

I seriously doubt all of it. But, it is an alternative.

Still, if they can afford a $40K SUV like the one in the video, I have a hard time believing they can't afford A425, even i the fee is still charged. Unless the car's not owned by them and they had a "friend" drive them.

That particular Jeep, tricked-out, costs a ton of money. It sucks gas with an 8 cyl. engine, and gets maybe 12-14 mpg in town.

2010-12-28 04:59:11

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

This was actually one of the more "humane" ways people dispose of unwanted pets, and may Michael Vick roast in hell.

2010-12-28 07:12:24

varangianguard [unverified] said:

Now, now. Michael Vick paid his debt to society. Time to move on.

Funny. I remember John Aleshire from a whole different perspective (back in his ministry days).

2010-12-28 08:57:04

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Now, now. Michael Vick paid his debt to society. Time to move on."

If Vick had robbed a bank, I'd agree. But he killed underperforming and injured fighting dogs, including puppies, by drowning, electrocution and gunshot. He has a dead spot in his soul that won't be fixed by "paying his debt."

He was, remains and always will be, scum.

2010-12-28 09:06:08

guy77money [unverified] said:

Hey varangianguard you should know never piss off a pet lover! ;)

2010-12-28 12:54:54

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Guy is right.

And I'll translate for John1:

"Tell The Truth is amazingly brilliant. Everything he types is pure wit and masterful."

All Dogs Go To Heaven. I'm workin on the cat thing.

2010-12-28 15:57:18

Local Lawyer [unverified] said:

We have a law that lets a parent drop off an unwanted child without penalty but a dog can't be dropped off at the Humane Society?

2010-12-28 19:31:15

Ellen [unverified] said:

I live in a semi-rural area, where people drop off unwanted pets all the time.

I used to take them to the Humane Society, until they started charging for drop-off.

Now I just look the other way.

Calling Animal Control brings absolutely no response. And, yes, I've had to take out the shotgun a couple of times to "discourage" the packs of young dogs running around the neighborhood.

And, all of this is WITHIN Marion County!

2010-12-28 22:32:35

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Ellen, you do know, don't you, that discharging a firearm within city limits, except in clear self-defense, is breaking the law?

Lawyer: the dog was dropped off in a sneaky manner, inside a tied bag, ink the cold. Laws or not, that's just inhumane. You can't justify it.

If there is a fee for dropoff, and I didn't have it, I sure as hell wouldn't drive up to the Humane Society in an expensive SUV and drop off the dog tied up like a sack of potatoes on a 20-degree day.

I'd take the dog inside, refuse to pay the fee, because I didn't have it, and see if the facility lived up to its first name.

Drive up. Walk in. Drop off. Walk out. Dare them to follow me.

That's how a brassy person handles lack of funds.

I don't know how a brassy person handles lack of civility and common sense. I have a feeling we're about to find out--this person will be discovered.

2010-12-29 04:09:25

Local Lawyer [unverified] said:

Truthteller: I'm not trying to justify the conduct. Rather, just pointing out the irony. Years ago in this city a man drug Tramp the dog behind a car and nearly killed it. Several people stepped up to pay for the vet bills, etc., which is fine. But I wonder how many of those same people would have reacted if the man had injured a child in the same manner. I like dogs as much as anybody, but our priorities are curious.

2010-12-29 05:56:53

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Curious, perhaps.

I like mosat living things. Some more than others.

2010-12-29 08:07:41

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

***most drat keyboard and coffee jitters!

2010-12-29 08:08:08

Jason [unverified] said:

If they were that heroic he would have at least had the goodness to walk inside and hand the laundry bag to an employee. Those people are as nice as the day is long, it's not like they'd follow him out to the parking lot, get his license plate, and send him a bill in the mail. You're going to drive all that far and then abandon it out front?

The display of cowardice is proof enough they knew what they were doing was wrong.

2010-12-29 14:29:57

cope [unverified] said:

TTT:"Ellen, you do know, don't you, that discharging a firearm within city limits, except in clear self-defense, is breaking the law?"

Not always. In Marion County firearm discharges are generally only prohibited in the police special service district, across roadways, and on waterworks property. If Ellen lives in a semi-rural area as she said, she's probably not within the old IPD jurisdiction.

2010-12-29 20:00:37

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Cope, you couldn't be more wrong. It's a county-wide ordinance, just like open burning. And thank God for it. The last damned thing we need is more people running around firing guns.

Permits are always required to have a gun, and they cannot be discharged anywhere in the county except to protect your life or property from imminent threat, or at proper firing ranges.

2010-12-29 20:27:13

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

T3, I do not believe permits are required for gun ownership. Concealed carry, yes. And convicted felons are prevented from owning handguns; I am uncertain about long guns.

I think you are correct about about discharging a firearm within city limits.

More guns would encourage a more civil society, in my opinion.

2010-12-30 06:55:34

Cope [unverified] said:

TTT: Sigh. Let me refer you to Section 451 of the Municipal Code, particularly 451.2:

Sec. 451-2. - Firearms generally.

Within the police special service district, it shall be unlawful for any person to fire off, shoot at another person or otherwise use any dangerous weapon for any purpose other than in defense of his life or the life of another person, or the protection of his property or property entrusted to him by another person, or for practice at a range under the supervision and operation of a governmental entity, or without the prior written approval of the department of public safety.

I think you forgot the shitstorm that ensued a couple of years back when Angela Mansfield introduced an amendment to this ordinance which would have made the ordinance apply countywide.

Here's a WTHR story from when the amendment was introduced:

Here's an NRA press release on the defeat of the amendment:

Your ignorance would have been excusable if you hadn't been so smarmy in your reply.

2010-12-30 19:32:22

whosear [Member] said:

On its face, I have to see it as a good faith effort to get the puppy to a responsible party. Maybe not the most appropriate manner but better than other alternatives.

2011-01-06 20:15:48

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