It is a sad day when we lose a pet. Sometimes they die of natural causes; sometimes they are ill with cancer or other diseases. Making the difficult decision to have your dog euthanized can be heart-wrenching, but what if you did it yourself?
Such is the case for a Virginia Beach, Virginia man, and now he faces jail time and steep fines. Michael Whalen shot dead his beloved hound Allie, who suffered with Cushing’s disease. The disease, in dogs, causes the animal to produce too much cortisol, which is responsible for many systems in the body.
Allie was 15-years old, and she had been diagnosed with the disease a year ago. Up until the day of her death, she remained fairly active and playful, according to Whalen. His veterinarian had apparently suggested that she be euthanized when she was diagnosed due to her advanced age, but Whalen was not ready to let her and gave her another year with drug therapy.
One morning in January, Allie wasn’t doing well at all. She was panting and sweating and began having seizures. Whalen says he thought about making the 20-minute drive to his vet’s office, but he just couldn’t stand to see her suffer for another minute.
Instead, he used a small-caliber gun and shot Allie in the head, ending her suffering immediately. He says he took responsibility instead of taking her to someone else to have it done. He then took her body to one of their favorite beaches and buried her there.
She was discovered by a passerby on the beach when her paw was sticking up through the sand. This person reported the finding to authorities who searched to find her owner. Whalen is now charged with one count of animal cruelty and one count of dumping garbage.
If found guilty, the 65-year old man could spend a year in jail and pay thousands of dollars in fines for animal cruelty charges and illegally burying a pet.
What do you think? Was Michael Whalen a responsible pet owner, or should he spend some time behind bars?
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