Looking for justice for Ben

Dear Editor,

Ben was gunned down for no apparent reason by a man some neighbors refer to as the “crazy neighbor.” He didn’t chase livestock; in fact, he could only plod along and sniff, due to spinal injuries from a prior accident. He was sweet and gentle and didn’t deserve to die.

My brother spent the past four days searching everywhere and talking to everyone in the vicinity of his place near Tonasket,WA. He even asked the alleged shooter if he had seen Ben and was told “no.” Even though I spent the past week and a half with John and Lu and gentle Ben, I had to return home. So when I got the news, I started utilizing social media and soon my community of dog agility people were sharing Ben’s lost dog story all around the country! We were all hopeful that this story would have a positive outcome….

Alas, it was not that way at all. Another neighbor called John in response to a lost dog flyer said he had heard a shot and saw a black lab stumble a few steps and collapse into the ditch. John had the presence of mind to call law enforcement, before charging out there to find his beloved lab. I don’t know that I would have been that way; even

though my husband is in law enforcement.

At this point, there is is no resolution and no justice for poor Ben; the “crazy neighbor” who has a history of shooting other people’s dogs, just happens to be a retired okanogan sherriff’s deputy. No wonder they said they knew him & that

he was known to be an animal lover!

Ben’s lifeless body with it’s soft,shiny black coat has mysteriously disappeared. And as anybody who watches tv knows, without a body, it’s very hard to prove a crime….

So it certainly appears that instead of adhering to a higher standard (like my husband and most responsible law enforcement officers do) this agency prefers to protect its own and allow for a double standard.

WA state code RCW 16.52.205 animal cruelty, first degree:

Cruelty to an animal causing death

  • a) to inflict substantial pain
  • b) causes physical injury
  • c) kills an animal by means causing undue suffering

Check. Check. and Check.

Myriad studies have shown a link between those who commit acts of cruelty towards animals and their eventual escalation to acts of violence towards humans. This may be one of those instances where we can stop the chain of events before they become even more tragic.

It’s already tragic for Ben. And for my brother, who loved him and for my sister-in-law, to whom Ben was completely devoted. Just look into his adoring eyes… he was looking at Luann.

And what did he do to deserve a senseless and horrific death? Not one thing. Just think if it were your companion animal that was gunned down. And help sweet Ben by pointing the light of truth and justice where it should be shining.

Gailanne Molver

Modesto, California