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Value of Life

If you follow the news, you probably heard about the road rage inspired dog killing. When Sara McBurnett bumped a car near the San Jose Airport in California on February 11th, 2001, the driver of the hit vehicle was ticked off. He approached Sara's car, grabbed her 10 year-old bichon frise (a dog) and threw it into traffic. The dog, Leo, was hit and killed.

The man took off but when news reached the public about the dead dog, a manhunt began. Shocked and angry people began crying out in support. Even Oprah Winfrey got in on the action and mentioned the elusive killer on her show. Cheques started arriving to aid in the search. Over $120,000 was donated. (He was eventually caught and sentenced to three years.)

People, we are talking about a dog here. In the US, 14,000 people are murdered by firearms per year. Not all of those are solved but you don't see people handing out money to catch the killers. Don't get me wrong. I'm a big dog lover and I think pets are very precious. I also realize Sara is understandably upset. She'll probably be scarred for the rest of her life. But I'm not talking about the damage done to Sara.

Women have been mysteriously vanishing from cities and some towns across North America for years. The public likes to talk about how horrible it is but they aren't doing much about it. I don't see anyone raising money to catch the killer or killers. Are we saying that Leo's life is worth over $120,000 but a human's life is worth much less? People have to work their butts off to get reward money for murdered or vanished friends or family. Even then the amount raised is pennies compared to the money raised for Leo's killer in only a couple days.

Then there's all the media attention the fleeing dog killer received. Is it because a human life is taken from us on a daily basis that the media doesn't make headline news out of every murder? If the driver had pulled a gun out and shot Sara it would have just been another case of road rage. But no, a dog's life was cut short so everyone had to get involved. We should take a close look at the value of human life against that of a pet. Why should the death of a dog cause more concern and disgust than the murder of our fellow man?

What do you think? Was the chase for Leo's killer worth donating that much money? How much would you give to stop a dog killer from getting away?

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