Schmuck of the week
Our “schmuck of the week” award — and there are so many out there we’re thinking of making this a regular feature — goes to an Arkansas mayor who ordered a city employee to “dump two loads of dogs” in the St. Francis National Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service has ordered Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley to pay $1,900 in fines and restitution.
A forest service spokeswoman says dumping the dogs, who were alive, violated a federal prohibition against abandoning “property” in national forests.
Under the agreement, Valley will pay $300 in fines and $1,600 to Northeast Arkansans for Animals to compensate the group for its work in locating and rescuing the dogs, Fox News reported. Valley did not immediately return the news organization’s call for comment.
According to the news report, Helena-West Helena, in addition to having two names, was trying to deal with a stray-dog problem, and residents were complaining that its dilapidated shelter, located at the city’s sanitation department, was inadequate.
Valley said he had about 10 dogs released June 11th near the national forest in eastern Arkansas and did not believe he had done anything illegal. He said the dogs were better off free.
After the dogs were released, two or three of them were shot by a resident who saw them on his land. Others were found by animal rescue workers.
Seems to me Valley got off easy, and somehow managed to avoid animal neglect and cruelty charges entirely. Even though justice has spoken, I’m sure our readers — “property” owners themselves — might have some proposals for, shall we say, a more fitting punishment.
Fell free to send them in, along with any nominations you might have for the next “schmuck of the week.”
Posted by John Woestendiek December 22nd, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abandoning, arkansas, dogs, fined, fines, helena, helena-west helena, james valley, mayor, national forest, schmuck, schmuck of the week, st. francis, strays, U.S. forest service