Washington man to pay for selling couple's pets for slaughter
- <<People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) strongly discourages people from placing "free to a good home" advertisements for pets. Studies indicate that only one out of five animals given away in that fashion actually ends up in a good home, said Stephanie Bell, a Seattle caseworker for PETA.
The majority end up sold for medical research or slaughter, or abused or used in dog fights and satanic rituals, she said.>>
Hi Friends, this is something terribly important to SERIOUSLY remember when trying to adopt out!!! It would help a lot if we wrote the paper emphasizing this point! Thanks very much! Adela
----- Original Message ----- From: L. French elf8000 @ juno.com (remove spaces)
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 7:03 PM
Subject: Washington man to pay for selling couple's pets for slaughter
Article Writer: Diane Brooks dbrooks @ seattletimes.com (remove spaces) 425-745-7802
Opinions: opinion @ seattletimes.com (remove spaces)
Local man to pay for selling couple's pets for slaughter
By Diane Brooks
Times Snohomish County bureau
EVERETT - From a business standpoint, the deal looked pretty good two years ago: $864 for selling a horse and three goats for slaughter, within 10 days of picking them up for free.
But now a Snohomish County Superior Court commissioner says Dana Guptil must pay Lake Stevens residents Kimberly and Neale Cox $34,329 for the emotional pain he inflicted when he sent the couple's pets to their deaths.
"His actions exceeded all bounds of decency," wrote Commissioner Arden Bedle.
The civil-court judgment may be among the largest of its kind nationally, said the Coxes' attorney, Valerie Bittner, who is a longtime member of the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund. According to her research, the largest known award in similar cases involving companion animals was a
$50,000 judgment in a Kentucky horse case in 2000.
Neither Guptil nor his attorney could be reached for comment yesterday.
The Coxes met Guptil, 32, in May 2001, when they placed a newspaper ad seeking a "good home" for their goats, which kept escaping from their yard. Buster was a purebred Nubian, while Oreo and Martin were former petting-zoo
residents from Everett's Forest Park.
The couple said Guptil then "sweet-talked them" into also handing over Jubilee, a 28-year-old strawberry roan, by promising to pasture him with other horses for the rest of his life. Neale Cox, who had cared for Jubilee since the horse's birth, said he agreed because he worried that his horse
Guptil promised they could visit their animals every week, the Coxes said. Guptil said he would keep the goats at his home on the Tulalip Reservation while pasturing Jubilee in the Warm Springs area south of Stanwood.
Instead, Guptil sold the gelding to Florence Packing in Stanwood for $549. Jubilee then was shipped to an Alberta slaughterhouse that sells horse meat for human consumption in Europe.
Guptil sold the goats to meat dealers at the Marysville Livestock Auction. They fetched prices ranging from $97.50 for Martin to $122.50 to Buster, compared with the average $75 per head usually paid for goats at that auction.
The deadline for appealing Bedle's May 19 ruling passed Thursday, Bittner said. Two years ago, Guptil didn't dispute that he had sold the animals and said sending Jubilee to slaughter was the humane thing to do, because the horse's feet were in terrible condition. He had intended to keep the
goats, he said, but they continually escaped from their pen.
Guptil confirmed that he requested - but didn't get - a bill of sale from the Coxes for Jubilee. Kimberly Cox said she instead wrote a note saying they gave the horse to Guptil "with the understanding that he cannot sell or give him away" but instead must return him to the Coxes.
Bittner said Neale Cox used to bring treats to Jubilee every day on his way to work.
"Mr. Cox has to live forever with the knowledge that he loaded his horse onto the truck that took him to his death," Bittner said.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) strongly discourages people from placing "free to a good home" advertisements for pets. Studies indicate that only one out of five animals given away in that fashion actually ends up in a good home, said Stephanie Bell, a Seattle caseworker for PETA.
The majority end up sold for medical research or slaughter, or abused or used in dog fights and satanic rituals, she said. "This is certainly something the public should be aware of," she said.
Diane Brooks: 425-745-7802 or dbrooks @ seattletimes.com (remove spaces)
Copyright � 2003 The Seattle Times Company
"Killing With Kindness" - An Act of Compassion
One campaign. One goal: A FEDERAL law for the HUMANE euthanasia of
surplus, homeless companion animals. One result: Putting an end to the
cruel killing. For more information and a sample letter, please see:
Media Liaison, Sirius Global Animal Org. Charitable Trust. http://sirius.2kat.net
Don't turn your back upon their pain, because it's hard to see.They have no other place to turn, They've only you and me.
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