Our readers write…

Our readers write…

Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 6:53 pm
By: Area readers

Know whole story before judging To the Editor: As most of you are aware, last week a terrible mistake was made. This mistake ended with the demise of Mr. and Mrs. Rodger Tanner’s beloved pet. Because of this mistake, a very good man’s name has been defamed. Most people know this man as Darrell Baty or the “dog catcher.” I know him as my father. I am going to take a moment to write as a grown woman and a responsible pet owner, not Darrell Baty’s daughter. I have two wonderful dogs that I love almost as much as I love my three kids. Dogs are so special and I always appreciate their unconditional love. Now, as their owner, my husband and I have a huge responsibility to our pets. Yes, it is our duty to make sure that they have plenty of food and fresh water but, most importantly, we take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety. We do this by making sure that when they are outside, they are on a leash and that they have tags on their collars so they can be easily identified. We recently moved to McKenzie, where we are outside the city limits and our dogs are OK to roam around as they wish, but we don’t allow this because we don’t want to experience the heartache that comes with a dog’s being hit by a vehicle. Of the many pets that I have had through the years, I have never had to experience that kind of sadness and guilt. I assure you that officer Baty would not go and snatch this dog from a pen or off a leash. Since this dog was roaming around freely without proper identification, he could not be distinguished from a common stray. The officer was simply sent out to the Formac Stables property when he got orders from a dispatcher about there being two dogs that had been dropped off on the property. Officer Baty was just doing his job, which happens to be a difficult and controversial job. He did not go out there with malicious intent. Did he make a mistake? Yes, there is no denying that, but he was not the only one who made a mistake that day. What about the dispatcher that sent him out of his jurisdiction? What about the people who called about the dogs, pointed out the “well-known” Pudge as one of the strays and then helped to load the dogs into the truck? These people were employees at the stables and, according to the Tanners, Pudge was well known and “the heart of the farm.” Why did this happen? Now as the daughter of Darrell Baty, I cannot do justice to a description of the character of this Air Force veteran. During my childhood, I watched my father leave to go overseas many times. There he fought selflessly to defend the freedoms of the American people, including freedom of speech. I think of Daddy as being a very strong and brave man. I also know that he is a very compassionate and caring person, not the awful “dog murderer” which he has been portrayed. This man really cared about these animals and their well being, even going as far as to buy them treats with his own money. He also kept stuffed animals in his truck to give to children he would see while out on his job. On one occasion, a stuffed animal cheered up a little girl who had fallen from a slide at Kiwanis Park. Therefore, a man of this character deserves to have his side of the story told. We are very blessed to have people who have supported my father and have prayed diligently. These people know the real Darrell Baty, not the Darrell Baty who has been called a “dog murderer.” I love my father more than anyone could ever imagine and I will not let him be portrayed as a bad person. To the people who do not know Darrell Baty, I urge you to take a moment of your precious time and get to know this pure and Christian man. For once, don’t form your opinions upon what you have heard from only half of this story. Please think before you judge so harshly. Have we lost all humanity? My father will not be broken down. He is too strong. Before closing I would like to point out that in the past week the term “murder” has been thrown around loosely. By definition murder is killing with malice aforethought. There was no malice or forethought involved in the killing of this dog. Chelsea Mathenia McKenzie Paper published one-side report To The Editor: Monday June 16th, The Messenger allowed me to read a story about a dog named Pudge they were printing in the paper that day. I was appalled at how one-sided the story was. My father is Darrell Baty, the animal control officer. First off, let me start by saying that my dad is a good man. He loves his family more than anything. He also has a tremendous love for animals. We used to have a dog named Biscuit. After we had him for about eight years, he developed a brain tumor and had to be put down. He is buried in my parents’ flower garden with a headstone that reads “Biscuit, Our Special Friend.” This is why I know, had he known the animal was someone’s pet, it would not have been euthanized. If the dog was cared for enough to write such a long story about it, then why didn’t it have tags on it? Why was it allowed to run loose where his life was endangered? Was it because it was a county dog? Pudge could have easily wandered his way into city limits. Then he would have been fair game. The blame does not rest squarely on the animal control officer’s and shelter manager’s shoulders. In the majority of the public’s eyes, they have already been tried and convicted. I understand that it is human nature to judge. But this story is so one-sided that you need to know both sides. I know that, in time, my father will be able to tell his side of the story. Judgments are like blinders. You see all right looking straight ahead, but it’s the whole picture you have to take careful note of. Lacye Jones Union City Published in The Messenger 6.25.08

Leave a Comment