Unborn puppies and kittens have a right to live. This issue is entirely separate from the debate surrounding the reproductive healthcare of women, who are capable of engaging with their doctors and making informed decisions. I’ve written about pregnant dogs and cats in shelter care in the past so I won’t rehash it all today. But this story out of Georgia deserves comment.
In August 2019, an Albany man was mowing his lawn when he was attacked by two rottweilers. His injuries caused him to miss 15 days of work and to go through rehabilitation. The dogs, a male and a female, were seized and declared dangerous but the court case is still unresolved. The city is seeking to have both dogs killed.
In the meantime, one of the dogs whelped a litter of puppies while in the care of the Albany Humane Society. Albany City Commissioner Chad Warbington, who has been trying to modify the city’s dangerous dog ordinance, called a local reporter about the pups:
“You’re not going to believe this. They let the female dog (Chloe) have puppies while she was being held, and now one of those puppies has attacked and bitten a 2-year-old girl.
“This is just unbelievable.”https://www.kake.com/story/44827620/city-humane-society-at-odds-over-contract-dangerous-dogs
Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis expressed a similar sentiment:
It has to be frustrating for the people involved to know that not only are those two dogs still being housed at the Humane Society but that the female, which was pregnant, was allowed to deliver her puppies and now one of those puppies has attacked a little child.
With limited information, I’m making the assumption that the female was pregnant when seized and the puppies are now two years old. If that’s the case, it’s unclear why city officials are just getting upset about it now. Perhaps the report of the toddler being bitten is recent but again, no details are provided. Was this a puncture the skin type of bite from a 2 year old dog or mouthing behavior from 18 months ago, typical of puppies before they get their adult teeth or was it something else?
At any rate, the objections by both men are clear: the female was “allowed” to give birth to her puppies. This suggests that there was a preferable alternative and the only one that comes to mind is surgically opening the mother up, removing and killing the pups prior to birth. But that would have violated the puppies’ right to live. Furthermore, even if the city had been able to obtain a court order for the destruction of the dogs while Chloe was still pregnant, it would have been unethical to carry out that order.
Unborn puppies have the right to live. While Albany city officials are amending their dog ordinances, maybe they can write up something to protect the lives of unborn animals in shelter care too.