By, Kelly Behr
Native Foods Cafe
Over the past few months I have been following this bizarre chain of events that was occurring in a small town right outside St. Louis, MO., where a dog on death row went missing from the vet’s office where he was being held for his trial.
Phineas, a yellow lab, was on trial for allegedly biting a child. After being accused of biting the dog was soon removed from the family where he lived and placed in custody. The judge, after initially seeing the bite marks, ruled that the dog be put down. The owner’s immediately appealed this decision and the dog was set to stand trial. The story was taking some interesting turns as it was soon revealed that the girl’s bite mark could not even be identified as having come from a canine mouth and the veterinarian went on to say the bite she had on her abdomen looked human. Soon the coverage of this story started gaining Phineas quite a fan following, even billboards such as the one below started to line interstate 44, a major freeway in MO.
Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of Fox 2 News.
It all sounds a bit dramatic and a little more Law and Order than it should, given the circumstances but the drama continued as the dog was mysteriously stolen from the vet’s office where he had been held for almost a year awaiting trial. This wasn’t the first time Phineas was taken either. He was first taken from the shelter where he was sent after the alleged bite incident, someone had cut a hole in the fence and took the dog, only to be return anonymously a few days later. After he was returned, Phineas was taken to a vet’s office to remain until trial, but then he was, again, mysteriously stolen. Sources say there were no signs of forced entry or break in and that one day the dog was just gone. Dog-gone it where is he?
The dog snatcher, it seems, could be linked to several people. People all over the town were heavily invested in this dog’s fate. But whoever took him had this message for the town that was written in a letter and sent to the dog’s owners and later handed over to authorities:
"You’re outraged and frustrated you can’t help aren’t you? Well you can help! Your heart aches for Phineas because you care about him. And the best thing he can do is inspire you to care for our fellow earthlings as you care about him. Use that passion for good! Help the dogs on death row at the pound and kittens thrown into the river by adopting, oppose breeders, and spay/neuter. Help our cow, pig, and chicken friends hindered to slaughter by not eating them. Help the beaver drowning in a trap and coon treed by hounds by not wearing fur and leather. Help the rabbits tortured in a lab by fighting against all animal testing, and shopping cruelty free. Help one friend like Phineas every chance you get. Thanks for all you do for our fellow earthlings. And shame to the selfish. If I were on death row I wouldn’t want my fate in the hands of a judge. So Phineas is now safe and happy playing with friends."
Native Foods Café uses this excerpt courtesy of Stltoday.com.
I think I like this story so much because of this letter. This letter speaks volumes of what vegan communities everywhere try to help people to understand, that in making small efforts a lot of good can be accomplished, not just for dogs like Phineas, but for animals everywhere.
Phineas was soon returned to his owners safe and sound by the person who made an anonymous drop off . The dog was then saved by the judge who overturned his original ruling to euthanize Phineas after a year-long trial.
Native Foods Cafe uses this image as courtesy of fox2news.com.
Hopefully the attention Phineas attracted over the last year will shine light on animal rights everywhere.
Vega, vegan restaurant, vegan food, animal rights