Today was a day focused on writing. But I want to highlight a couple of stories from today re: animal abuse. First one from Alaska Commons, in which John Aronno reports on how he and Heather, househunting, discovered an ugly situation of ongoing abuse & neglect of a dog. Turns out the Municipality of Anchorage doesn’t have a very straightforward way to report animal abuse & neglect, and John & Heather are working to rectify that.
Later in the day Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily News reported from Juneau that the Alaska Senate, in the closing days of this year’s legislative session, finally made sexual abuse of animals illegal in Alaska, with an 18-1 vote. I first learned of this bill when I wrote a post countering some of Jerry Prevo’s numerous lies about the Anchorage equal rights ordinance AO 2009-64 last May: one of his lies was that the ordinance, if passed, would grant “legal special rights” to anyone engaging in such sexual practices as pedophilia (sex with children), necrophilia (sex with corpses), and zoophilia (sex with animals, also known as bestiality) — never mind that pedophilia and necrophilia were already illegal by Alaska law (which no Anchorage ordinance could overturn), and House Bill 6, which at the time Prevo’s lies were first promulgated, had already passed the Alaska House, would explicitly make sexual conduct with animals a Class A misdemeanor. HB 6 had been written by Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) after an April 2008 case of a man raping a dog in Klawock brought to light that that the existing “cruelty to animal” law didn’t explicitly forbid sexual abuse of animals. According to a Huffington Post story last March,
[A] 26-year-old registered sex offender was accused of molesting a local family’s pet dog.
The man was spotted by a local woman coaxing the Labrador retriever into the woods near a ball field. There he allegedly tied it to a tree, taped its muzzle shut with duct tape and had sex with it, witnesses told police at the time.
The man had been twice convicted of raping a young boy and more recently had served probation for assault after lunging at a child. While the incident with the dog was reported to the police, Klawock Mayor Don Marvin said nothing happened for two days while fearful parents escorted their children home from school.
“When this incident happened, we had a community that was scared,” Marvin said.
Because Alaska has no law against such an attack, Ketchikan District Attorney James Scott eventually charged the man with two counts of criminal mischief, which was later changed to a theft charge.
In requesting a $10,000 bail, Scott told the court that the state was concerned that if a small child had been available and unattended that day, “the small child would have been found taped (and) tied in the woods.”
A lot of people have asked why there was one vote in the Alaska Senate against HB 6. According to Sean Cockerham’s report yesterday on the ADN’s Politics blog,
Kenai Republican Sen. Tom Wagoner was the only vote against House Bill 6.
(Update -Wagoner told me afterward that he probably shouldn’t have voted against it but was just frustrated that this is how the Legislature is spending its time at the end of the session, instead of dealing with issues like child molestation.)
As I wrote in reader comments,
I’m sorry Sen. Wagoner thinks humane treatment of animals in itself is a waste of the Legislature’s time — but I hope someone will take time to educate him that sexual & other abuse of animals are closely associated with domestic violence (see http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/26/3fall2009/d_animalabuse.html) and sexual crime against people including child molestation (see http://www.hsus.org/acf/cruelty/publiced/cruelty_sexual_abuse.html).
Here’s the day’s tweets:
- Good news to start the day w/: Traini pulled further ahead from Clary in midtown Assembly vote count. #fb #
- And now: on to Saturday writing. Working on “Asura,” the “murder & Lord Shiva & restorative justice in outer space” story. #fb #
- RT: @redrummy: @yksin What a strange world when we’re rooting for Traini… Oh, wait, this is AK. *smack* // It beggars the mind. Agggh-aska #
- RT @alaskacommons: Want to piss me off beyond all recognition? Abuse a dog. http://bit.ly/bpSamd // (or a cat, but the post is about a dog) #
- RT: @jamielang: Eating dinner / lunch aka dunch http://flic.kr/p/7UgBhN // What about linner? #
- RT: @Metafrantic: Yay, I finished my @SciInMyFi post for Monday! // Triple win for us! one of my favorite blogs! #
- RT: @ShardAngel: @redrummy Bleach won’t help, you’ll overcome its purifying substance in minutes / + you’ll have Clorox all over your screen #
- RT: @sandykidd: RT @OneLuv918 http://bit.ly/bVzy6O This is “America Has A Black President” month. Next celebration begins May 1, then June 1 #
- Speaking of not mistreating dogs or other critters: RT: @adndotcom: AK Legislature voted today to outlaw bestiality. http://bit.ly/bYBlIH #
- A great writing day @ Side Street & @KaladiBrothers downtown. Then I walked all the way home. Now more writing, then movie @ Bear Tooth. #fb #