Two tales teeming with cruelty happened side by side last week, as if to present an object lesson in human beings’ nearly endless capacity to act without thinking. The second story, the more tragic of the two, filled Wednesday’s newscasts.
The gist: At 1 p.m, with temperatures near 105 degrees in Scottsdale, firefighters were summoned to Lost Dog Wash near 124th Street and Via Linda to save three hikers and a dog struggling in the heat. Rescue workers removed the trio from the trail using an all-terrain gurney. Each of the three refused a trip to the ER. The dog, a 4-year-old pit bull, wasn’t so lucky. Despite medics’ attempts at delivering oxygen using a “Fido bag,” the dog did not survive.
The animal’s owner, a 27-year-old woman, was cited for animal cruelty by Scottsdale Police.
As a dog owner and a lover of hikes even in triple-digit heat, I firmly support such a law enforcement decision because I would never drag along a pet on such a scorching afternoon. Without the ability to sweat – but gifted with fierce loyalty – dogs suffer mightily in the heat, but they’ll keep going until they literally hike themselves to death.
One hopes people would be smarter than to put man’s best friend in such a horrific situation. In Phoenix, in fact, it’s now against the law to take dogs hiking on the city’s mountain trails when temperatures crest 100 degrees.
Which brings me to the other tale of human stupidity, which you may have seen on the news Monday. Again, it involved hikers and bad decision-making. This time, rescue crews…
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