Men Are Such Dogs

Photo by Keith May"Convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy J. McVeigh was put to death this morning for the 1995 murder of 168 Americans. The lethal injection was scheduled to be administered at 5 a.m. PDT, but the process was delayed due to transmission problems with a live video feed being sent to Oklahoma City. The execution was viewed by about three dozen people, including McVeigh's attorneys, victims of the attack, members of the media and government officials. Another 232 victims and relatives watched McVeigh's last moments on closed-circuit television from a viewing room in Oklahoma City, a community that is still struggling to recover from the disaster."

—Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2001

"I've never, ever heard anyone request to see a dog destroyed. You mean a dog that they don't like, right? Because I know people many times want to be there for their family pets. But to be there to witness a dog that has been terrorizing them, no. We would never offer that to someone. It's not a pretty sight. I mean, if the dog did something to them or their children, I can understand them being angry, but all they need to know is that it has been destroyed. That should be closure enough."

—Kathy Francis, Orange County Animal Shelter

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"Constance Favorite offers a half-serious suggestion for how to accommodate the 250 people who want to watch Timothy McVeigh's execution: hold it in the middle of an Oklahoma field. Favorite says she wouldn't look, but she would be there for the sake of her daughter Lakesha Levy, a 21-year-old Air Force airwoman who was among the 168 people killed in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. 'To see it happen is not the most important thing to me,' Favorite says. 'It's not anything that I need for myself. Let the people see if that's what they need to heal.'" —Associated Press, Feb. 24, 2001

"Mmmm, not really. You mean, be there when the dog is put to sleep? Well, no. . . . Although, you know, a few years ago, this woman did ask to see this dog put down. It was her boyfriend's dog, and it had bit her all over. It was an Akita, and it had been very mean to this girl, and I think the girl was a model, and she said she'd like to be there when they destroyed the dog. But that's the only time I've ever heard of it. And that was because it was her boyfriend's dog. I guess she wanted to make sure the dog was really dead, you know, to feel good. What I can tell you is that if you want to make sure a dog is put to sleep, that's all public record, and you can check it for yourself."

—Orange County Animal Shelter staffer who did not give a name "Attorney General John Ashcroft plans to announce today that survivors and relatives of those killed in the Oklahoma City bombing will be allowed to view the execution of Timothy J. McVeigh through closed-circuit television, Bush administration officials said Wednesday. Janine Coverdale, whose two grandsons were killed in the attack, said she would be 'elated' if the execution were televised. 'This is something I've wanted to watch,' she said." —Washington Post, April 12, 2001

"No, we don't let people watch. It's not that it's gruesome—it's just an injection, and the dog just kind of falls asleep. That's it. From my experience, I can't see that it would make anyone feel better. But I've never been terrorized by a dog."

—Lindsey, Huntington Beach Humane Society "'What drives me?' asked [Kathy] Wilburn, whose grandsons Chase Smith, 3, and Colton Smith, 2, died in the Oklahoma explosion. 'The need to know the truth.' She does not want the government to execute McVeigh as planned for May 16. 'I believe that when he dies, so dies the truth,' she said. And yet she hopes to get one of the eight seats for victims to watch the execution. 'I lost two grandchildren. Don't I deserve to see it?' she asks. Of some 2,000 people classified as 'official victims,' 250 have said they want to be in the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, to peer through the glass as the thus-far unrepentant McVeigh is given a fatal dose of potassium chloride that stops his heart." —Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2001

"No shelter would allow that. We put them down, but we're not going to let anyone be in the room. Can you imagine? I don't know. Maybe if we did let people watch, we'd get a lot of requests because people always think we're doing something else to them besides just putting them to sleep. We're not, but they think we are."

—Hazel, Santa Ana Animal Shelter "Paul Howell and Peggy Broxterman, who each lost a child in the Oklahoma City bombing, said they are happy to be among 10 survivors and relatives of victims picked to witness next month's scheduled execution of bomber Timothy J. McVeigh. The group was selected this week by computer lottery from among about 250 who asked to view the first federal execution since 1963, set for May 16, at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana." —Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2001

"You mean like the Timothy McVeigh situation, right? That's an interesting question. Let me go ask someone. . . . I just asked the shelter manager, who's been here 25 years, and she said that though there have been a lot of people who wished strongly for the demise of a certain animal, no one has ever requested to be a witness. If they did, they might be disappointed. Euthanizing a dog is such a peaceful, quiet death. I don't think they would get any kind of good feeling from being there. I guess it's the same situation with McVeigh. He's being euthanized."

—Hallie Pfeiffer, San Clemente Animal Shelter

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