The War on Drugs is a War on Pets

Listen, if you think the War on Drugs is just a war on people, you’re WRONG. The War on Drugs is also a war on pets! Even though President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have announced an end to the feds raiding law-abiding dispensaries, that didn’t stop a slew of agents from raiding two LA marijuana dispensaries as well as the residence of the owners yesterday. It must have cost a fortune because of the amount of people who showed up for the bust. Federal authorities including the DEA, FBI and the IRS, plus agents from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Police Department as well as Torrance Police Department and Culver City agents were all involved in the raid.

1005081443During one of the raids officers shot a dog. It’s believed to be a pit bull, but the circumstances of the shooting remain unclear, say a law enforcement spokesman. They also say they found 200 plants, 100 pounds of marijuana, $100,000 cash and made one arrest. What they don’t say, however, is what prompted the raids and why they had to shoot someone’s pet.

Perhaps murdering pets is standard practice during raids, because a Maryland mayor is currently asking the federal government to investigate why the SWAT team busted into his home last year and murdered his two dogs in an investigation into a drug smuggling scheme.

“We lost our family dogs at the hands of sheriff’s deputies who burst through our front door, rifles blazing,”   says Cheye Calvo, mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, who also said he was brought downstairs at gunpoint in his boxer shorts, handcuffed and forced onto the floor with his mother-in-law near the carcass of one of the dead dogs.

Kevin Henderson

Columbia residents Kevin and Lisa Henderson filed a $5 million federal lawsuit last month alleging Howard County police killed their “gentle, loving” 10-year-old mutt, Grunt, during a SWAT team raid last year. The raid was the third in 18 months in which county police had been publicly accused of shooting dogs. The Hendersons’ lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore July 27, alleges not only that their dog was killed but they suffered assault, battery and racial discrimination.

Back in July the Police not only killed Baltimore resident Coina Amato’s dog, they trashed her home. “They shot through the door in front of screaming children that were begging them to let the dog out and she was cowering in there,” said Amato, “They shot through the door and she ran upstairs in the bedroom, and they went up there and pumped AK47 shots into her in my bedroom.” No one has been charged, and the department has neither apologized nor offered any restitution for killing their dog or trashing their home.

These are just a few recent cases. There are stories of  similar cases, where people’s rights were violated as they watched in horror the murder of their pets, all across this nation. They clearly illustrate how abusive and unjust the War on Drugs has become. It’s time to end the War on Drugs, the War on People, the War on Pets or whatever the hell you want to call it before more innocent people, plants, and animals are harmed. FAIL.

2 Responses to “The War on Drugs is a War on Pets”

  1. Robert Robinson

    During a drug task force raid on a peaceful church in Acme, PA the police told me they were going to shoot my dogs if I did not get them “under control” I was just a camper, had never been to the CULM before and was sitting with a friend at my camp when armed men came running and yelling all the while pointing guns at us – so my dogs bark Like any good dog would do) and start screaming at me to get them under control or they will shoot them!

  2. Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator

    I’ve covered all these stories on the NORML Daily Audio Stash and interviewed Corina Amato. So I thought, “I ought to call PETA and get them in on this! And Bill Maher, he’s on the boards of PETA and NORML, he’d be perfect for this issue!”

    I received this reply from PETA:

    I direct PETA’s Emergency Response Division and your email was forwarded my way. Thanks for reaching out to us Russ. Just a little about my division’s work – I have a small crew of caseworkers dealing with cases involving animal fighting, beating, starvation, drowning, rape, etc. Really ugly stuff. We get about 300 new cruelty cases (with animal victims alive and suffering terribly) from around the globe each week. And I’m not sure why—maybe the bad economy, or PETA’s increased exposure—but these intake numbers are on a steep incline. As you can imagine we’re slammed beyond belief, things are getting worse, and I’ve got to be brutal about picking and choosing what to assign. I’ve been doing this work for about ten years and it became clear in my first couple years that we weren’t making any headway with the atrocities you’re talking about. Drove me nuts. Agencies would just dig in their heels and nothing good would result (and often the guardians would regret out involvement if/when they brought their lawsuits). What I found heartening was that many such shoots garnered easy media coverage and public outrage, but with police “policing” their own (you know how that is), justice is/was still hard to come by. And with our insane intake volume, I had to focus my division on issues where we can definitely make a difference. Sorry man I wish I could tell you different and I can only hope that you understand.

    And I understand that – limited resources, non-profit org, and so on. But I at least thought a highlight of the issue from Mr. Maher on his Real Time show — maybe “New Rule: No More Dog Killing for Pot”.

    Haven’t heard a thing from him. But I suppose he’s really busy.

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