When police were alerted to an unattended fire in the front yard of a home in Northampton Township, Pennsylvania, they surely never expected to find what they did: A man had apparently shot his dog in the eye, then barbecued the animal’s body over a firepit, reportedly using $100 bills as kindling.
According to MailOnline, the man was “incredibly intoxicated” and sitting on a couch, unable to speak, when officers arrived. His roommate apparently told police that she’d heard gunshots from his room earlier on. Bullet holes in a bedroom, “blood and gore” in the hallway, and a handgun found at the scene seemed to confirm the roommate’s report.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the dog was an 8-year-old greyhound named Bonanza, whom the man adopted in 2019. Bonanza had reportedly been rescued from The Macau Canidrome Club in China, a now-defunct greyhound racetrack that closed in 2018.
Asia's only #greyhound racetrack, Macau's Canidrome, is set to close.
Please urge #Macau officials to award custody of all the dogs to local animal-protection groups so that they can be adopted into loving homes.
TAKE ACTION: https://t.co/0Po6Ms0Up0 pic.twitter.com/pOgyZzfEms
— PETA Asia (@PETAAsia) July 12, 2018
The Northampton Township Police Department has charged Bonanza’s alleged killer with aggravated cruelty to animals, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, possessing instruments of crime, cruelty to animals, and recklessly endangering another. Prosecutors were apparently granted their $1 million bail request, and the defendant is reportedly still in police custody. PETA supports officials protecting all community members by throwing the book at the man if he’s convicted, including by assigning him the maximum duration of incarceration allowable as well as prohibiting him from owning or residing with animals for as long as possible.
What if This Dog Had Been a Pig?
This act is heinous, and the details probably turn your stomach—but if this dog had been a chicken, would Bonanza’s owner have been charged with cruelty to animals? Surely not. If it were a fish who’d been barbecued, would the incident have made news headlines? Definitely not. And if this dog had been a pig—an animal who shares many personality traits with “man’s best friend”—would you think twice about it?
So, if you wouldn’t eat one, why eat the other? It’s because of speciesism. Most humans are conditioned to view certain species as worthy of care and compassion and others as less important or unworthy. As with other forms of prejudice, we’re conditioned to accept this toxic mindset—it’s engrained in us. It leads us to ignore our own conscience, which tells us that it’s wrong to mistreat all other beings. But addressing speciesism and acknowledging other animals’ rights is as simple as respecting their needs or leaving them in peace. Accepting that all animals are deserving of being left off our plates is a great place to start.
Dog, pig, or human—no animal belongs on a grill.
After you pledge to end speciesism, order yourself a free vegan starter kit—it’s chock-full of recipes, tips on proper nutrition, and more. And click below to spark an important conversation about speciesism among your friends and acquaintances: