Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 12, 2013

Dog rescue draws debate

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — A selection of reader comments from our Facebook page this week:

On a story about two fishermen who faced charges for attempting to rescue a drowning dog. Authorities later decided not to charge the men:

• So this couple takes two dogs into the river and one dog is swept away. Two fisherman happened to see this and tried to save it, and they might face charges because they swim to help?! What the hell is the matter with this picture? Never mind that this couple also took a child into the water as well. And we wonder why people are hesitant to help anymore. Geez Louise — Sharon Q.

• Totally ridiculous to charge the rescuers. Charge the people with the child for child endangerment. How stupid can you get — Cynthia D.

• Exactly. If you have to charge someone, charge the couple. The fisherman was actually doing something kind, which is rare these days. And he was doing it for an animal, which is ever more rare! — Chris H.

• We domesticated these animals — it is up to us to care for them. They risked their own lives, no one else’s. More people should act with that amount of compassion and the world would be a better place — Keisha D.

• These guys need awards, not court dates and lawyers. Unless the local government wants to put up signs that say, “No swimming, unless something really crazy is going on, like saving a puppy or a baby or whatever.” — Harry R.

• Best line in the whole article: “Phil Hart said officials are considering new signs to warn people of the dangers.” I hope he thinks about it long and hard ... Neal V.

• I feel that a human life is more valuable than any animals but that doesn’t mean that any life is worthless and not worth saving. These guys acted on compassion and empathy, kudos to them ... — Brian M.

• Was there a “No Rescuing” sign they missed? — Derek Z.

• I would do what I could to save any life, be it a dog, a person or a rabbit. I wouldn’t throw myself in, blindly — Terry R.

• You know what, people need to get a grip, they saved a dog, what if it was a person? Are we as a society saying a life only matters by what others deem savable. They weren’t swimming, they saved a life ... — Gail S.

• I sure would jump in any river for my animals. If my dog was in danger, heck yes. My thing is the people should not have been in the river with a child and the two dogs to begin with. Anyone with a little common sense knows it’s dangerous, but they did it ... Susie B.

• Due to the apparent lack of common sense, actions like this are even considered needed and necessary. Have those in authority become so removed from the actual working of society that they can not look left or right to find the best direction, or to determine whether any direction needs to be taken at all? Bottom line: An animal’s life was saved. Those saving this animal had not before, or most likely will not again, jump into a “No Swimming” area. Situation resolved with good outcome. Move on to something worth the time to address! — Katharine N.

• The cops don’t have enough to do they have to charge someone for trying to save a dog? Poor dog was probably scared to death — Della S.

• The people who took the dogs and kid in the water should be in trouble not the men who risked everything to save the dog — Tiffany U.

• I would save a dog and I wouldn’t care who liked it or not because the way I see it a dog is a living creature as we are. Any animal deserves to live just as much as we do. If anybody isn’t allowed to save a life, then that’s just plain wrong ... Penny F.

• No dog is worth dying for. I don’t think the men should be fined but at least it would make them think twice before risking their lives for something like that. I like dogs but this dog should have been on a leash then it wouldn’t have gotten away, and the owners should be fined for allowing their granddaughter to be in the water there — it could have been her — Anita H.

• I would have went in. The intent of the law is always better then the word — Michael Z.

• No, they shouldn’t be charged — Mary C.

• If they jumped in to save the dog then how is it “swimming, wading and consumption of alcohol.” That is not what they did. If you’re constantly having to pull people and dogs out of the river then you should board it up and not allow access. These people should not be charged for an act they committed that was not illegal — Julie M.

• Anything can happen anywhere, instinct is to rescue anyone or animal in trouble. Rescue is the motive, not breaking the rules — Joe E.

• Anyone who would risk life and limb for a pet — even if it’s not his — is a hero! — Lillian S.