You don't have to be an animal lover to sympathize with the plight of the three Payson dogs currently imprisoned in 4-by-6-foot concrete kennels at a Flagstaff animal shelter.
Maggie, Sheba and Hank are being held as "prospective evidentiary items," according to Coconino County Sheriff's Det. Scott Feagan. We're not sure exactly what that means, but there is no ambiguity about the possible fate of the dogs if the presiding judge decides they are dangerous.
In the business, they call it "putting them down" or "euthanization." We call it murder.
Whether he deserves it or not, Harold Fish, the Phoenix hiker who shot and killed Payson Humane Society volunteer Grant Kuenzli, already has a lawyer hard at work protecting his rights. Unfortunately the three dogs, who Payson Humane Society board member Lisa Boyle calls "the real victims," are not protected by the Constitution.
Thankfully, Payson has rallied once again to the cause of those less fortunate. Paws in Park members and other dog lovers have organized regular visits to the three dogs, who, at least report, are not holding up very well. Additional support has been enlisted from the Flagstaff chapter of the Animal Defense League of Arizona and others in that community.
Coconino County Attorney Terry Hance calls the outrage expressed throughout northern Arizona over this case a "lynch-mob mentality." We suggest the term might better be applied to the possible fate of three dogs who never touched the man accusing them of being vicious.