In early November, the teacher of an agriculture class at Stephens Co High School in Georgia brought 2 cats into class and castrated them without anesthetic, having students hold the pets down. One student was bitten.
So that happened.
The teacher, Daniel Hebert, is not a licensed veterinarian and I was unable to find any information as to whether the cats had been vaccinated against rabies prior to the incident. I am guessing he owned the cats although I couldn’t find a source for that information.
The state department of agriculture investigated and said nothing illegal had happened. Which is swell news for every wannabe vet yahoo looking for a place to set up shop – Georgia is your destination. You can play vet there, and apparently there are no rabies laws either.
The ACO from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter was asked to investigate and determined there was cause to issue a summons for two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. The pound director, Jeff Roberts, seems apologetic about having to do his job:
“I can’t really go into specifics of the case, other than to say that we have investigated it. We’re required to enforce county codes, and as part of our investigation we made the determination that it was warranted to issue a summons for 2 counts of animal cruelty, Then, it will be up to the judge to make the final determination in this case.”
I am not sure why the pound director seems hesitant to call out animal cruelty when in fact he should be the one leading the charge for justice for the poor cats. Maybe it’s because the director realizes no one in the community has his back.
At the Stephens Co commission meeting this week, people came out in support of Hebert and things got ugly:
A host of people who spoke to the county commission Tuesday night questioned where animal control received its authority to issue the summons.
“He has not been sworn in,” said Revonda Seymour. “I talked to all the judges. Where is he getting his authority from?”
In fact, county code specifies that an ACO is empowered to enforce the animal cruelty laws in Stephens Co.
Becky Deitz-Payne said what has happened to Hebert is ridiculous and has been blown out of proportion.
“He is a wonderful teacher,” she said. “I think what he did in class is completely okay. They would not have been able to see that under any other circumstance unless they went to college if they were going for some type of degree in that field.”
The kids would never have been able to witness the miracle of animal cruelty if the teacher hadn’t tortured the cats in class. And don’t worry about obtaining “some type of degree in that field” – the state department of agriculture says it’s unnecessary!
A fellow agriculture teacher from Stephens Co Middle School also spoke in support of Hebert, decrying the social media exposure the case has received and condemning those annoying people who oppose cat torture:
“Just because we have animal rights activists out there that get all bent out of shape.”
And then there’s this guy:
Stephens County Commission Chair Dean Scarborough told the students that came to show their support for Hebert to take this as a lesson of the dangers of social media, noting that once you put something out there on social media, it is out there and can be as harmful as something that is said face to face.
Let this be a lesson to you, kids. Torture animals discreetly and ixnay on the acebook-fay.
Hebert resigned immediately after the incident went public then yoinked his resignation and decided to stay until the end of the school year in June. Apparently the school is fine with that. The department of agriculture is fine with it. County officials are fine with it. And the animal shelter staff is just sorry they had to do their jobs and follow the law.
Has anyone checked the lesson plans for Hebert’s class over the next 6 months? Maybe somebody should – I mean, if they’ve been sworn in and they ask super nice and all the county judges say it’s ok and they don’t talk about it online or anything.
Way to make the south look progressive there, Stephens Co. Thanks. Hebert is scheduled to appear before the magistrate on December 18. I’m sure those proceedings too will reflect positively on all of us here in the south.
Geez, twice in one week. What are the odds? Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.
(Thank you to the reader who sent me this story.)
21 thoughts on “Cats Castrated in High School Agriculture Class”
Really, this guy thought it was okay to do surgery on unanesthetized cats in a science classroom? And everyone else in the community thought it was okay to do surgery on an unanesthetized cat in a science classroom? And this guy is a great teacher? What the hell is he teaching those students? And what is the message that the entire community is sending about the value of these souls (the cats, not the “people”)? What happened to the cats after they were butchered? And why won’t anyone do anything about this wanton cruelty?
Yeah, it certainly does make this community, its citizens and the state of Georgia look pretty bad. But, my heart goes out to those cats who suffered while kids held them down and an adult they look up to butchered them inhumanely. Is there no one there who sees how very wrong this is? And God help the cats who might be the next victim of an overzealous butcher/student who thinks s/he knows how to butcher a cat and wants to try it at home.
This is DARK AGES stuff.
Perhaps the ‘teacher’ would volunteer for this procedure of castration with no anesthetic while animal lovers hold his ignorant self down?
Really just ignorant and absurd, especially the mind-set of so many people in the community who thought this form of animal abuse and cruelty was a-O.K.
I am speechless and appalled! I had to check the date to make certain it wasn’t 1814 instead of 2014. This Neanderthal of a teacher (my sincere apologies to Neanderthals) needs to be castrated in the same way and then fired as a teacher. Maybe that is the lesson he and the kids will not soon forget! On what planet did this moron think that was acceptable behavior for a teacher or for any sane human being?
How is this not practicing veterinary medicine without a license?
This is clearly someone who has been abusing animals for so long (in the name of “livestock husbandry”) that he doesn’t realize it’s a bad thing – in fact, he wants to TEACH it to others!
The whole thing is madness, but you know it’s going to get swept under the rug because “folks just don’t understand how we do things here”. Sort of like Vick’s love of dogfighting was “cultural” and should be excused for that reason. To which I say, “Bullshit”.
And from WHERE did this mad scientist “teacher” obtain the poor cats?
Pound Seizure Laws by State
States that mandate animals be released to research facilities = OK
States that ban pound seizure = CA (only abandoned pets), CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA (banned for dogs only) RI, SC,
VT, VA, WV
States that allow individual counties/shelters to decide on pound seizure = AZ, CA (only owner-surrendered), CO, IA, MI, OH, TN, WA (only nonowner
surrendered dogs), WI, UT
States with no law on pound seizure = AL, AK, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OR, SD, TX, WA, WY
For a state where people drive around with confederate flags and where schools are still segregated – at least when you drive by schools that’s what you see, why would any cracker yahoo think it’s animal cruelty to slice off a cats testicles it out anesthesia? I would like to see this guy held down and have the same done to him-he needs to be kept from reproducing more inbred stupid humans!
It seems that the state veterinary board would be protecting their best interests to press charges in the name of ‘practicing veterinary medicine without a license’ as I think they did against a pet sitter several years ago, who was administering ear meds a pet owner who was on vacation. I mean, hell, if they don’t, who knows how much money they may have been losing to this quack, and will lose to him and all his ‘educated & trained’ students in the future!
Having gone through middle and high school in rural GA, this does not surprise me one ioda. You would be amazed at how “this is the way it’s always been” allows common sense fly out the window. Thing of it is, most people don’t agree with that mindset. But they are afraid of going against those in charge. My family was fortunate enough to have jobs not linked to the county. But those were few and far between.
This makes me sick. Just when you think you have heard everything!
These are all ignorant idiots! Why are they doing anything to a live animal? Why is he “teaching” them to castrate the cats? How in the hell would the school system allow this and back him up!? Not to damn educated to me! Poor babies. Breaks my heart that they and others have been abused. Wake up georgaians and stop this crazy shit!! Have some backbone!!!!
Thank you for posting this. Ashamed when fellow Georgians show such ignorance. Bet none of them have ever taken their pets to a veterinarian. All of the elected officials and the school board of Stephens County Georgia should be charged with dereliction of duty.
Okay, I just gotta say it. It is *normal* to castrate piglets without drugs too. They make these horrific racks that you can hang them in by their hind legs so a person can do the nasty without an assistant. OSHA probably requires you to wear ear protection cuz the little guys scream like, well, piglets! I had my vet castrate our piglets, and she used drugs. Although pigs are very sensitive to anesthesia and we lost one because of the heat, the stress, and the drugs.
Anyway, why is it okay to do it to a pig or a cow and not a cat or a dog?
And WHY do they band sheep?!
There’s nothing okay about castrating livestock without anesthetic. I also don’t think many here – if any – would argue about that. But there’s your distinction: practices often differ significantly depending on whether animals are classed as livestock or pets, and CAFO industries actively work at keeping it that way. So does ordinary resistance to change, which in the case of practices like these, may be all the more because realizing this is something that requires change also requires acknowledging that yes, the way ‘we’ve always done it’ is in fact cruel.
Castration of dogs and cats used to be done routinely by vets with at most a local anesthetic – my vets always used that, but I know a lot didn’t. That changed in the late 80s/early 90s – I don’t remember precisely, I’m going by my interactions with my vet back then – when I was told studies demonstrated that there were fewer complications and recovery was more rapid if they were given a general anesthetic. My vet also said that it was also influenced by the greater safety of modern anesthetics.
My understanding (which is minimal) of the livestock castration procedure is that anesthetic is not used due to the impracticality of it. Not that I agree with that argument mind you but those who do it seem to have a host of excuses why anesthesia is not beneficial. The same arguments clearly do not apply to cats and dogs who have been getting neutered safely in vet’s offices under anesthesia for decades. Further we as a society place dogs and cats in a different category than livestock – we share our homes with cats and dogs whereas livestock is often raised for slaughter. As such, we tend to take the comfort of cats and dogs during (and post) surgery into consideration much more readily than we do livestock.
Also, the idea of using anesthetics/pain meds in animal meant to be consumed is problematic because of the food safety aspect. The idea being that human health takes precedent over animal comfort (no need to go there in this discussion, just take it as read for the moment).
Since we do not eat cats and dogs, there is no need to withhold all available pain meds/anesthetics for medical procedures. Unless, of course, we’re a bunch of assholes who don’t care at all about animal suffering.
This is crazy. Rescue in GA is so heavily regulated many national breed rescues don’t even perform rescue in that state but it is ok to castrate cats with no anesthetic??
And these yahoos wonder why the rest of us consider them ignorant arrogant white trash.
WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP! I’M SICK TO MY STOMACH BY ALL THE BS AND THEIR THOUGHTS THAT WE’LL BUY INTO IT! THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SHOULD BE ABUSED IN CLASS, NOT THE ANIMALS! ON THE OTHER HAND MAYBE THEY ALL HAD LOBOTOMIES AND ARE UNABLE TO THINK CLEARLY! STUPID SOB’S!
fire that teacher, revoke his teaching license, charge him w/ felony animal abuse & w/ practicing veterinary medicine w/out a license ~ make an example of him so other sadists will know that animal abuse will not be tolerated
This man, how can we call him a “teacher”, taught those children that its ok, to abuse and torture animals. If he is not made an example of, what are the students going to learn from that? No wonder our world is like it is today…. idiots like HIM.