Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Letter for a friend

Here's the full text (anonymised) of a letter I wrote for a friend.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to you to ask you to reconsider your decision, if you have not already done so, not to prosecute the case regarding the act of arson that claimed the lives of four canines and destroyed the home and possessions of Ms __________.

Although Ms _____ is a friend, I am writing as an animal lover and as an advocate for justice.  I believe that this case should be prosecuted because, as a species, the human race has a special duty to protect the lesser species we have domesticated and made our pets and companions.  The loss of home and possessions is a tragedy but they can be replaced over time; the loss of an animal cannot.  Individuals who take animals into their homes as companions form deeper attachments with them than they do with their human family as they have chosen those specific animals and those pets have as great a need for their owner as a child does for a parent.  Ms _____ did not just lose her home and possessions that day; she also lost four members of her family, just as dear as any human family she may possess.

It is distressing to think that the four dogs died in fear and pain, their fur burning and their flesh seared, unable to escape from a place in which they had felt safe in the past and had the right to feel safe and secure.  Even if Ms _____’s dogs had survived the cowardly act of arson of which they were victims, they would have been unable to demand justice for themselves so it is the duty of your office to be their voice as it would be for any victim of murder or manslaughter.

I realise that there are financial considerations regarding which cases you can or cannot prosecute; however, for justice to be done, there are some cases that must be prosecuted.  This case is one such case.  It is not whether you win or lose the case, it is whether, morally and ethically, you fight the case to send a message to the world that acts of animal cruelty are abhorrent to us as a species, that spiteful and cowardly acts such as this are not to be tolerated by society.  It is only by fighting such cases that society’s ethical and moral standing can be raised to the point that crimes such as these are eradicated.

As a society and as a species, we must show that animals we have domesticated have a special place in our culture and must therefore be given certain inalienable rights befitting that place.  If the victims of this crime had been human children, the case would have gone to court.  Ms _____’s dogs have a right to justice, equal to any human victim and perhaps more so, because of our responsibility to them as their guardians.

I hope this letter will change your decision and that you will prosecute the person accused of this heinous crime.  Be the voice of the innocent victims of this tragic event.  Be the true agents of justice that you entered your profession to be.  Win or lose be damned; do what is right, morally and ethically, and justice will be done.


Myles Cook (Mr)

And here's the reply...

Thank you for your input. The decision not to pursue this case is based entirely on the law, applicable to the admissible evidence - and the fact that animals perished does not change the rules of evidence, or the law.

Our decisions are based on facts, evidence that is admissible under the rules of evidence, and the existing law - not emotion. The decision will not be reconsidered.

Gary Beatty

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