There’s no denying that this election is contentious. Lines are being drawn both between parties as well as within them. But when our rivalries begin to involve our pets, that’s going too far.
Matt and Beth Steadman live in a Dallas suburb. Like many people they wanted to show their support for their candidate by putting out yard signs. Three separate times, the signs were stolen. Matt Steadman says that they didn’t think that was a big deal. Just signs, after all.
But after the last sign was stolen, someone left a nasty little present under the Steadman’s doormat:
Pretty sure that didn’t come with the morning paper. No, some lame-brained Trump supporter probably thought that was cute. What happened the next day was far from cute, though. Someone — I’m betting the same one responsible for that thoughtful note — poured bleach into the Steadman’s gas tank, destroying their car.
“Smelled the inside of my gas tank and there was bleach,” said Steadman. “I’ve never heard about bleach and gas tanks and cars.”
It so happens that Mythbusters covered this particular situation in an early episode. Their result was that bleach in a car’s gas tank will make the engine stop and rust the inside of the gas tank. They ruled it plausible that bleach in a gas tank will destroy the engine. So, now the couple’s car is ruined because of some nimrod pouring bleach in the tank.
But it got worse. The following day — Sunday — Matt Steadman noted that the couple’s 2-year-old Shepherd mix, Abby, was shaking. The tremors got so bad that Steadman rushed Abby to the veterinarian. She died the next morning. The vet said that the cause of death was poisoning by a neurotoxin. While it’s true that there are many poisons an animal can come into contact with if outdoors, the timing is a bit too coincidental.
While a detective did interview the Steadmans, there is currently no investigation into the case. Matt Steadman says that they are “not the enemy type” and he can’t fathom why someone would be so cruel and vindictive simply because of yard signs.
I can. Donald Trump has been encouraging this kind of attitude (including the incitement of violence) from the start of his campaign. He has called Hillary Clinton names and even hinted that she could be shot by “Second Amendment people.” To think that one of his supporters would carry this out into his or her neighborhood is not a big leap.
But killing an innocent animal, a pet who doesn’t know anything about our stupid human rivalries, is simply too much. Abby didn’t deserve to die just because her humans support Hillary Clinton. Just like no pet should pay for their people supporting Donald Trump. The very idea is ludicrous.
Let’s hope they find the subhuman who did this and punish him or her. It should be an example for anyone else who might think to bring our pets into our tribal battles.
Featured Image via Screen Capture