Incidents of animal cruelty are disturbing and need to be taken seriously. However, I was shocked to read that executing one’s dog is a federal offense that, in the case of a young army veteran, resulted in federal charges, jail time, and $25,000 in bail (“Windham veteran accused of executing therapy dog, posting video on Facebook, found dead,” May 8).

We live in a world where, by one estimate, 9.2 billion farm animals were executed in the U.S. in 2015 alone. That doesn’t even address the almost 15 million hunting licenses sold the same year.

While I am not weighing in for or against the ethics of hunting and factory farms, I am suggesting that we consider the questionable proportionality that lets us blithely slaughter animals for food and entertainment while bringing federal charges against one individual for killing her dog.

Eileen Ringel


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