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October 31, 2012

Dog dies, idiot parents dodge responsibility

In February of this year a dog named Nikko drank some antifreeze and died. This devastated Aaron Coash, a 9-year old boy who had grown up with Nikko since he was a puppy. Nikko apparently wandered off one day and returned home about an hour later. Three days later he died. Aaron started a crusade against anti-freeze since it was determined that it was the most likely cause of death. I cannot find the status of Nikko's Law that was going to be proposed to the Kansas State Legislature that would require bittering agents added to the antifreeze to make it less appetizing to dogs. As a responsible dog owner (at one time), this bothers me.

Nikko's death was not a result of the anti-freeze, but of irresponsible dog owners. Period. While it is tragic that so many animals are killed each year from the ingestion of antifreeze (about 10,000 according to the Humane Society), it is not the responsibility of the anti freeze manufacturers to address.


There are already pet friendly antifreeze products on the market and in a free market society people can choose or not choose those products, much like there are environmentally friendly cleaning products which also give consumers a choice (which aren't as good as the real thing, by the way). If this law is passed then it forces manufacturers to charge more money on the chemical that must be added, on new labeling etc. This will in turn cause products and services to increase their prices as well i.e. Jiffy Lube or other full service preventative car maintenance businesses. Seventeen states already demand this bittering agent.

Nikko’s death comes down to personal responsibility. The dog was unrestrained and ran amok  Instead of Aaron’s parents admitting their mistakes that led to Nikko’s death, they would rather point the finger at the anti-freeze. It is a slippery slope down a path that I don’t believe anyone who supports this law has thought out. Unfortunately, this sense of blame shifting is becoming more prevalent in our society and negligent parents are not held accountable. What kind of monster would throw a mother in jail after her child just died?!
Tiffany and Chris Hebb will likely not face charges, Hillsboro, Ore., police spokesman Michael Rouches said Monday.
In March of this year a toddler drowned in a washing machine. This is a horrible tragedy for any parent, however this was preventable. 
The boy’s mother was reading a magazine in the living room of the family’s single-story home, Rouches said. She was no more than 30 seconds away from the machine when Oliver climbed up on an adjacent tub and fell into the machine. 
This statement is what disturbs me the most:
"We have the DA's office look into it, just to make sure there wasn't a degree of negligence."
This is a cut and dried case to me. Of course there was negligence. Book 'em Dano. At least the parents are trying to get the word out about how dangerous top-loading washers are. For crying out loud, 5 children have died since 2005 from falling into them. They are starting a crusade against this epidemic.
They also want to issue a warning to parents that top- loading washing machines can be dangerous for children.
Thank you for that PSA, you dumb asses. But I digress. Let's get back to the dead dog...

Dogs like to drink antifreeze is because it tastes sweet. Ingesting even the smallest amounts, depending on the size of the dog, can be fatal in as little as 4 hours. Nikko’s Law would require manufacturers to dope the product with a bitter tasting chemical to deter the animal from drinking the anti-freeze. However, there are many other things that taste sweet to dogs that are also toxic to them. Chocolate and alcohol, for example, are very toxic and will kill a dog. They both taste sweet to dogs.  Walnuts, baby food, coffee, grapes, raisins and yeast dough are toxic as well. What if a dog eats these products and dies- do we enact laws to make these foods taste bitter to dogs? We have to apply the mentality of these people to other scenarios to see if they hold water and if the laws make sense.

This proposal is asinine and takes the responsibility of an animal’s death away from the real culprits- the owners. What will Aaron and his parents crusade for when his next dog escapes and is run over by a car? Or is tortured by neighborhood thug kids? 

Where does it end? I don't see an ending because our society and culture are becoming more and more dim as the years go on and the sense of self responsibility fades. We make everyone a victim and hold no one accountable.

Aaron’s homepage has the statement, “Animals and children are accidentally poisoned each year by anti-freeze.” It is no accident. It is the result of irresponsible parents and pet owners. This would be an unfair law proposed by parents who refuse to teach their son that it was their fault his dog is dead.

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