Letter: Krabloonik is a moral issue | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Krabloonik is a moral issue

Krabloonik is a moral issue

With the continuing allegations about Krabloonik over many years, it is gratifying to see that its owner, Dan MacEachen, is currently under D.A. investigation and charged with eight counts of animal cruelty.

However, as we know, the court system is not always able to absolve or convict because of the nature of the law. Animal cruelty is especially difficult to prove in the state of Colorado. Our laws are not remotely stringent when it comes to animal ownership where animals are considered “personal property.” As such, Dan MacEachen was legally able to shoot his dogs in the head and dump them in his sh-t pit, as he allegedly did for years, until the weight of public opinion caused him to stop. At least that is what we are told.

No matter what the results of Dan’s court case are, I firmly believe that something has to be done to improve the conditions of the Krabloonik dogs. There is just too much evidence out there, perhaps not usable in our court system, to think that these working dogs are living “the good life.”

In the fall of 2008 a regulatory committee was formed to improve conditions at Krabloonik. Members included a number of knowledgable citizens — a veterinarian, a dog trainer, a shelter operator, a former Iditarod competitor, representatives from Voices and Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter, Snowmass Town Manager Russ Forrester — and Dan himself. They met until the spring of 2009. The notes from their last meeting stated that “the majority of members are frustrated with the lack of movement on Dan’s part and do not feel future meetings will be productive. This being the case, the members regretfully agreed to suspend the committee until further notice.”

In 2010, under the management of Guy Courtney, a small veterinary council was formed. The purpose was, once again, not only to improve the conditions of the dogs but to elevate the public perception of Krabloonik. Again the vets made their recommendations. Again none were followed. This council, in frustration, dissolved this past November.

Krabloonik has been cited over and over again for years by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Dan continues to fall out of compliance with state regulations, most recently again this past October. The specific violations included malnourished dogs and failure to ID any of the 250-plus dogs.

Now is the time for the powers that be, the Snowmass Town Council, as Dan’s landlord, to think beyond the legal and economic ramifications of Krabloonik and to take a moral stand.

Bland Nesbit

Aspen


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