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Will Coggin: Accused should not be treated as guilty

By August 10, 2017May 8th, 2018Legislation

Will Coggin: Accused should not be treated as guilty

To the editors:

It’s shameful that Lindsey Hamrick of the Humane Society of the United States would argue that people should be treated guilty until proven innocent by having someone accused of animal mistreatment pay for the cost of care before trial.
It’s true that the cost of caring for animals can be expensive while an animal cruelty case makes its way through the courts, as is the situation with the Great Dane seizure last month.

But Hamrick’s organization raises over $100 million a year. It has so much cash that it’s socked away over $50 million into offshore Caribbean accounts in the past several years, according to its tax returns. The group also uses seizure events to raise even more money. This should be exactly the kind of situation that they spend some of their wealth on.

There are legal steps in place for caregivers to be reimbursed in the event a defendant is found guilty of animal cruelty. But we shouldn’t overturn a fundamental American principle because a wealthy charity is complaining about having to spend money doing its mission.
Perhaps donors would be better off giving to local animal charities that also care for the animals seized — but who don’t act like cheapskates.

Will Coggin
Research Director
Center for Consumer Freedom
Washington, D.C.

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