I'm going to go a little off topic today. I've been lecturing everyone about writing and part of me is stalling to avoid beginning my new project which I hope to finish by the end of the year. Anyway, excuse the sidebar, but I am a huge animal lover so this experience hit close to home.
While sitting on a grand jury today, we had a case concerning the theft of a pedigree dog. The prosecutor kept talking about the value of the dog in question...over $1000 in case you're curious. I asked if it isn't a crime if you steal a worthless dog. You guessed it. It's only a crime in the state of Ohio if the value of the dog is over $500.
How does one go about estimating the value of a beloved member of the family? You guessed it again. You must have a receipt. Can you believe that? Well, I was a little annoyed. I am all about animal rescue. After losing my beloved Reiley in 2004, I seriously considered paying big bucks for a full blooded Springer Spaniel with all the papers and pedigrees. Something Reiley didn't have. I bought him out of the paper for $50. His mother was a full-blooded Springer, but Daddy was a handsome stranger. I love everything about a Springer from the tip of their constantly wagging tail to those soulful spaniel eyes.
At the insistence of my sister, I looked into rescue dogs and reached the only conclusion that made sense. Why pay for a dog when there are so many wonderful ones awaiting adoption at my local shelter? Now I have two sweethearts I wouldn't trade for anything. My lab mix cost $100 in adoption fees and the Collie/terrier/who knows what all mix was free. She just showed up one day.
If they ever get nabbed, I guess I'll have to take the law into my own hands. While we are pursuing indictment for the person who nabbed the $1000 dog, I had to wonder how its owners let it get dog-napped TWICE. Irresponsible pet ownership is part of the problem.
So lock your loved ones up tonight, especially if you lost your receipt. Otherwise the cops won't even show up to talk to you.