Not Buddy ToughHere's a story that seems tailor-made for a quirky short film competition: A 73-year-old man in Hydro, Oklahoma broke into the city animal shelter, afraid his dog, Buddy Tough, was about to be euthanized. With only his bolt cutters and lawn tractor for a slow but steady getaway, Edwin Fry busted Buddy Tough loose and headed home.
Alas, his slow-moving lawn tractor wasn't powerful enough for Fry to escape and he was intercepted by police and charged with second-degree burglary, destroying city property, and trespassing. Fry went to jail, Buddy Tough went back to the kennel, and only one of them made it back alive.
This is where most people would decry the heartless animal shelter that could euthanize an animal that clearly has an owner. I'm not one of those people.
Hydro has a bit of a problem with dogs running loose and terrorizing the small town. In fact, a show calf was killed by dogs off their leashes and out of their fences, which is not only incredibly expensive for the owners of the calf, but dogs that kill a calf will kill again. Complaints about loose dogs in the town had been rising, according to a Hydro police officer, and Buddy Tough had already spent some time in the clink for being loose and bothering the neighbors.
This time, Buddy Tough's owner signed his pooch's death warrant by making it clear he would not be paying the $100 fine for letting his dog run loose, and had no intention of keeping his dog secured. Fry went so far to threaten the police with a shotgun if they came near his dog.
That's a menace to Hydro, not a sweet old man trying to save his fluffy puppy.
Having grown up in a small town in Oklahoma, the only thing more important than the family dog is the livestock that puts food on the table (directly and indirectly). Dogs that "go bad" and chase and kill farm animals are not allowed to stick around. While Buddy Tough was not identified as one of those killer dogs, letting your dog run wild has the potential to end badly. It's not safe for the people of Hydro, nor to the other animals. No-kill animal shelters are certainly preferable, but Fry knew what kind of shelter was operating in Hydro, and he defied the law, knowing the deadly consequences.
While Buddy Tough might have been a lovely dog, he should have been kept behind a fence, in a house, or on a leash. Edwin Fry is the only one to blame in his untimely death. The city employees of Hydro were merely doing their jobs.
Do you think Buddy Tough should have been euthanized?
Image via Dad of the day/Flickr