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Republicans Prioritize Airline Employees' Poor Judgment With Pets Over Young People Dying From Gun Violence

March 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Gabrielle Gurley, The American Prospect

Animal welfare is important—and so is the safety of school kids.

On a day when American students and their supporters marched to demand stricter gun laws and to memorialize 17 people brutally killed at a Florida high school, the news broke that Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana intended to file an animal protection bill. The move came about 48 hours after the death of 10-month old puppy on a Houston to New York flight after United Airlines employees forced the owners to put the animal in an overhead bin.

His compassion for dogs is commendable. Yet Kennedy proposes to take zero action on the gun violence that kills schoolkids.

Animal welfare is an important issue. Few owners want to consign their pet to an airplane cargo hold if they can avoid it. Passengers take small pets on planes so they can be stowed safely under a seat. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal welfare advocacy group, said a certain measure of responsibility for this sad episode rests with the people transporting the pet. Most others faulted the crew for exercising poor judgment. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office (Houston is the county seat) has opened an investigation into the puppy's death.

Not content to let United, Harris County or the court of public opinion handle the issue, Kennedy stepped in with the Welfare Of Our Furry Friends Act, or WOOFF:

Kennedy’s motivation for swift action on the incident is unclear. (Louisiana Voice blogger Tom Aswell offered this insight about Kennedy in January, “Kennedy, in constant search of a …read more


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