Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Hunting Dogs at Risk Also

Sent to several SD newspapers
10/30/03

Hunting season is a dangerous time of year not only for wildlife who meet an untimely death, but also for hunters and their companions, both human and canine.

On October 25, a ten-year old Maryland boy was killed by an arrow fired by a crossbow while hunting with his father. Earlier in the month, a sixteen-year old boy in Indiana was hit with buckshot while in his own back yard. While these are clearly accidents, they nevertheless underscore the dangerous nature of prowling the woods with high-powered weapons in search of something to kill. Beadle County conservation officer Troy Achterhof said opening day hunting accidents seemed to be up from previous years.

Also tragic are the deaths of the dogs who are often hunters' companions this time of year. Many of these unfortunate animals are literally worked to death while their human companions hunt their prey.

One veterinary clinic in Winner saw five dogs die from heatstroke on Saturday and Sunday, and treated 15 that survived. Dr. Jill Butkovich of Safe Haven Small Animal Hospital in Mitchell treated eight victims of heatstroke last weekend and two died. Heatstroke affects nearly every organ of the body and its victims show signs of kidney failure, permanent blindness and mental abnormalities. In many cases the lining of the intestine getting so hot that cells die and slough off, resulting in bloody diarrhea when the intestines start leaking fluid. According to Dr. Rebecca Rink of the James Valley Veterinary Clinic, dogs were coming in to her clinic with 104 and 106 degree temperatures, suffering diarrhea, vomiting and bloody urine. At least nine veterinary clinics and hospitals reported dogs dying of heat stroke on the opening weekend of pheasant hunting season. Veterinarians suspect the total is much higher; the state does not keep track of pet deaths from heat stroke.

These tragedies show that hunting is dangerous to all who are involved. Hunters end up killing wildlife and sometimes their dogs, their children and even at times, themselves. Government game agencies promote hunting and create hunting opportunities to profit from the bloodlust of a few. Hunting is barbarity practiced by a small minority of the population, and should not be tolerated by a civilized society. For information on what you can do to stop hunting dead in its tracks, please contact the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting through our website at http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/  or 845-256-1400.

Joe Miele, Vice President
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561
201-368-8271

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