I was in my 20s when I appeared before a grand jury.
My sin? Not killing dogs and cats.
Let me explain.
I was president of a humane society that held a contract to do animal control for the small capital city in which we lived. A shelter manager ran the operation and techs were on staff to do the dirty work (of euthanasia).
Our city contract called for holding animals only a certain amount of time before putting them to sleep. But, there were times when we had the space so we kept some adoptable animals past their “expiration date.”
On of the euthanasia techs took her duties very seriously. Some would say TOO seriously. She was a by-the-book type and didn’t like it when we held animals that should have been euthanized. I don’t think she was a bad person or cruel, not particularly. She was just self-important and all that time she spent killing animals perverted her view. Plus it’s possible she didn’t like some of our board of directors and wanted to strike at us. Humaniacs, as we were called, are a special breed and usually acquired tastes. We didn’t like having to kill homeless animals and so when we could give a few an extra chance at a forever home, well, we did.
So sue us.
And that’s sort of what happened.
The euthanasia tech reported us to the city and the next thing we knew, we were up before a grand jury.
I mean. Seriously?
Yep. I was, maybe, 28 years old.
No lawyers or other people are allowed into the Grand Jury Courtroom and so I was all by myself –and terrified– during my testimony, gripping the table in front of me hard so I wouldn’t pass out.
In the end, it all went away, but it left a deep mark on me.
My association with the humane society showed me the dark side of humanity but it also showed me that there are angels in the world, angels who take seriously their responsibility to protect animals–because animals can not speak for themselves.
It was hard to see all those cute but homeless animals at the shelter and tougher to walk away from them. At one point during my humane society tenure I had two dogs and five cats and thankfully, three acres of land which made it easier. Today, Riley is our only pet but we give money regularly to animal charities. And we support the spaying and neutering of pets. Period.
I have a soft, soft spot in my heart for people who work with homeless animals because I know what it’s like. It’s hard. It’s heartbreaking. And it is truly God’s work. Just ask St. Francis of Assisi.
So when I saw the video I’m sharing in the link below, all I could do was sit watching with tears falling down my cheeks.. The people who pulled this off should be sainted.
And, as Michael said the other day, “I’d beat the shit out of the perps.”
Here’s the post and video that touched my heart so deeply. Love to know what you think.