Is It Okay to Steal a Dog in Order to Save It?

Zoey the dog is off her chain and in a loving, healthy new home.

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A story of a vigilante dog rescue in the American Southwest raises the question of when it’s okay to break the law to save an animal. Stephen West heard about a dog chained up in front of a trailer that seemed to be in trouble:

Animal Control was monitoring the situation to see if the dog was being fed. After seeing the dog, it was ridiculous to me that Animal Control would be monitoring this situation. The dog was skin and bones, was covered with open sores, and appeared to be deaf and obviously being neglected. The neighbors said she had never been off that chain, ever.

So, West had a choice to make: leave the case to Animal Control or choose to act the way his conscience dictated. He chose the latter:

I just walked right up and Zoey was in the doghouse. It was like she had no fight or life in her at all. I had to pull her out by the chain. She was very cooperative. I unhooked the chain and put her on a leash. She walked right away with me. I was worried about her barking but she was completely quiet. It was like she knew she was going to a better place.

Zoey received much needed veterinary care; folks donated money to get her microchipped, spayed, and vaccinated; and she’s now in an adoptive home with two other dogs to play with. She will never be on a chain again.

Of course, Zoey is in a much better place, but that does not change the fact that West stole the dog. No one would deny that the final outcome is a good one, but do the ends justify the means? What do you think?

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