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Thread: Please read...

  1. #1
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    Please read...

    This is a bit lengthy but please read; the end poses two intriguing questions...ones that are not easily answered.


    Hi All,
    Just wanted to share this story

    Cindy Wolff
    [email protected]

    July 23, 2002
    Anyone who loves their pets can relate to the panic Christina Walker must have felt last week when she found her car was stolen with her cocker spaniel inside.

    She told police officers her 5-year-old daughter Samantha was inside the car, resulting in a frenzied search involving 45 law enforcement officers.

    She knew the police would give it a top priority if they believed the kidnap victim was a child and not a canine.

    Once Walker's father told the officers Samantha was a dog and not a child, Walker found herself facing a felony charge of filing a false police report.

    And if facing a possible sentence of one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000 wasn't bad enough, it turns out Walker's fabrication was for naught.

    Samantha was found dead after apparently being hit by a car near where Walker's abandoned car was found.

    It's hard for some people to understand the bond that drove this 24-year-old woman to risk her freedom and cause so much panic in a city already flinching from the of children caught in the crossfire of drug deals gone bad.

    Walker's lie also came on the same day a 5-year-old girl was kidnapped and later found murdered in California.

    The situation of children in danger awakens a primal panic in all human beings desperate to save the innocent ones.

    But like it or not, in Walker's eyes, her dog was an innocent too: a defenseless creature she loves caught in a dangerous situation.

    After her lie unraveled, many animal lovers responded with empathy because they know how far society has to go in recognizing the importance of companion animals in our lives. While pets are considered a part of the family, society still regards them as unimportant as the spare tire that gets stolen with the car.

    ....

    And she was worried something would happen to her dog. This wasn't a purse or a compact disc collection or a bag of newly purchased clothes. Samantha was a sentient being that feels happiness and pain. Walker obviously loved her very much.

    Maybe if society recognized the valuable role companion animals play in our lives and that our love for them is much deeper than it is for anything else we "own," then Walker wouldn't have felt like she needed to lie to get law enforcement to look for her pet. She could have told them her dog was in the car, and maybe the police officers would have included that on a bulletin about the car theft so patrol officers could keep an eye out for the frightened spaniel. Television news stations may have included the information. They've responded before when pets have been lost in a car wreck or in other circumstances.

    But Walker didn't give the police or the media a chance. In what must have been a panic, she told a lie that sent helicopters into the sky and officers frantically searching the streets, certain a child was imperiled.

    So does Walker deserve to be punished? Samantha, her friend and companion, died because she foolishly left her in the car while she went into a store. Maybe that heartache is punishment enough.

    Does she deserve to go to prison because she loved her pet enough to lie to try to save it? Probably not. If a police officer had been injured or someone else hurt as a result of her actions, then maybe.

    Some, including law enforcement, will argue that an example needs to be set. Wanton filing of false police reports could ensue. But is that really likely?

    Maybe society could show her the same compassion our animals show us when we do wrong and forgive her.
    ***I took out a portion of "fluff" (allbeit very true, and wonderfully written "fluff" explaining the companionship/importance of our pets) from the middle--feel free to contact me if you'd like the email in its entirety.
    Last edited by zippy-kat; 07-31-2002 at 09:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Although I feel badly for this person's loss of her precious pet and I love my two as deeply as anyone could, but I simply cannot conceive misrepresenting them as a children to the police.

    Where our laws are concerned I feel that there does need to be a better recognition of the importance and deep emotional bond that a person can have for their pets. When one is taken from us through willfull maliciousness or negligent action on the part of another, there should be means to sue to compensate (for lack of a better word, no money can really compensate) for the loss of a significant relationship...more than the mere value of Personal Property as now exists in the law.
    *Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened.* Anatole France

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Rachel
    Although I feel badly for this person's loss of her precious pet and I love my two as deeply as anyone could, but I simply cannot conceive misrepresenting them as a children to the police.

    Where our laws are concerned I feel that there does need to be a better recognition of the importance and deep emotional bond that a person can have for their pets. When one is taken from us through willfull maliciousness or negligent action on the part of another, there should be means to sue to compensate (for lack of a better word, no money can really compensate) for the loss of a significant relationship...more than the mere value of Personal Property as now exists in the law.
    The lying is what got to me too, Rachel. Oh, how I feel for that poor woman, but she was wrong to misrepresent her situation the way she did. Should she go to jail? I don't think so. It will be interesting to find out how they handle it.

  4. #4
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    I think if she lied to get her car back it would be a terrible lie but the fact that she lied in concearn for her dog... I think I might have done the same thing. I know everyone here loves their pets, but like me.... and some others, I have no kids. I consider Tinky and Jupiter my kids and I love them more than anything. God forbid, if I was in that lady's situation ... I think I would have considered telling the same lie.. (which for me would have held truth because Tinky is my daughter and Jupiter my son.. in my eyes... ) Some people just don't get the bond we have with our animals and I WOULD GO CRAZY... If I thought I was about to lose one of my two.
    [CENTER]

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    7/6/2006 - 9 pounds 9 ounces 22 inches


    Tinky

  5. #5
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    I'm just thinking that she was so panic-stricken that maybe the first thing that popped into her head was to get help whatever way she could. The lie was a sure bet that it would get attention. I don't know if she thought it through or just said it. Who knows?? I think it is wrong, but she shouldn't be severely punished for it. She was punished enough by the death of her dog. Call it temporary insanity? So sorry the poor dog was killed, though.
    Save a life, ADOPT!!
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  6. #6
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    I agree with you, Sue. I think she may have said what she said in panic and shock at hat had happened. I think it was wrong of her to lie about it, but should she go to jail? I don't think she should.


  7. #7
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    She knew the police would give it a top priority if they believed the kidnap victim was a child and not a canine.
    This is the part that made me form my opinion about the "lying". I can't imagine her fear and distress, as I would be the same way over my human or "animal" child.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Rachel
    Although I feel badly for this person's loss of her precious pet and I love my two as deeply as anyone could, but I simply cannot conceive misrepresenting them as a children to the police.

    Where our laws are concerned I feel that there does need to be a better recognition of the importance and deep emotional bond that a person can have for their pets. When one is taken from us through willfull maliciousness or negligent action on the part of another, there should be means to sue to compensate (for lack of a better word, no money can really compensate) for the loss of a significant relationship...more than the mere value of Personal Property as now exists in the law.
    Excellent response Rachel. I couldn't have put it any better and probably not half as well. As to making this poor woman serve time in jail I say NO! We have so many people it seems doing more serious things who "get off" that it would be an extreme injustice. I believe a stiff fine would be in order to show that lying to the police will not be tolerated, but jail time....definitely NO!

  9. #9
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    In a time of distress I probably would have said "My baby is in the car!" Of course, my Baby's name is Smokey so they might catch on... but I doubt she had the intention of it going this far. She just wanted her baby back.

  10. #10
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    Have you noticed that the punishment for doing a small bad thing to save your non-human family is a severe fine and six years of prison(how unreal is that? SIX?), while in contrast to most animal cruelty charges, those are almost never charged for the sentence they are facing? (i.e. some jail time) Although I don't believe they should be charged life or anything, a year or two would serve them right. And maybe if they had jail to look forward to, there would be less animal cruelty? Who knows. What do I know, either? |shrugs|
    In memory of Rey's Rosebud (Rozye)
    April 26, 1990-April 26,2002
    Passed away in pain under the mercy of the needle because of severe colic.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by manda99
    In a time of distress I probably would have said "My baby is in the car!" Of course, my Baby's name is Smokey so they might catch on... but I doubt she had the intention of it going this far. She just wanted her baby back.
    I agree that she may of said it in haste and then it got out of hand and she didn't know how to make it right again out of desperation. That is the problem with a lie. You need to keep telling one after the other to cover for the first one. She probably should of come clean immediately when she realized the police thought they were looking for a child.

    I love my dogs dearly and can't imagine the panic I would have if something like that happened to me. But in honesty, I do not think telling a lie is the answer. Should she go to jail.... NO!

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