In Defense of the Three Dogs From Tulsa
The this article deals with sexual abuse and is intended for mature readers.
If you came upon this while seeking animal porn, consider this your wake up call.
In June 2008 a woman in Tulsa Oklahoma and her partner were arrested
after a family member discovered and reported to authorities a
collection of home video tapes depicting the woman engaging in sexual
activity with dogs.
The three dogs used in the videos were removed from the woman’s
home by police, along with the obscene videos and related paraphernalia.
The case quickly became a national spectacle.
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reported that the three dogs used in
the tapes were going to be immediately euthanized and described the
dogs in court affidavits as having been “trained to rape”.
Soon after, the Sheriff’s Office announced that they were
“ready to have the dogs destroyed.” awaiting a
Logically the three dogs from Tulsa needed to be removed from the
abusive situation, but what is the sense in characterizing the dogs as
“rapists” when it was the woman and her partner who were
charged with sexually abusing the dogs and not the other way around?
The euthanasia of animals caught in the crosshairs of human cruelty is sometimes a tragic necessity. In many cases, sport fighting animals which have been
bread and raised from birth to exhibit unbridled aggression can not be
rehabilitated within a reasonable margin of safety to potential
adopters and must be humanely euthanized.
However, as seen in numerous cases, severely traumatized dogs plucked
out of horrifying situations, even those of distrustful or aggressive
temperament (yes, even pit bulls), can quite often be rehabilitated and
placed safely in adoptive homes where they make great family pets.
The fact that the abuse suffered by the three Tulsa dogs was of a
sexual nature does not make them any less deserving of a chance to be
loved than dogs that have been beaten, starved, neglected, or otherwise
mistreated in (sadly, for lack of a better word)
On television news programs, I have over the years seen several stories
of female dogs who have been sexually abused by men. Often described as
having been “sodomized” or “raped”, the female
dogs featured in these shock stories are spoken of in almost heroic
terms for surviving their ordeals, and sometimes even receive publicly
funded veterinary care including reproductive system surgery to cure
injuries inflicted on them by their assailants.
In televised news stories complete with adorable “money
shot” footage of the dog recovering in a cozy pen in a veterinary
clinic padded with colorful blankets, the authorities and
veterinarians seen on camera speak not of expedited euthanasia for the
dog, but implore viewers to donate money for her treatment and to ask
about adopting the animal so that she can forget her troubles and live
happily ever after with a loving family.
So just what entitles female dogs that have been sexually abused by
perverted men to more sympathy than male dogs that have been sexually
abused by perverted women?
Why were these three dogs described in court affidavits as being
“rapists” for things their owners forced on them?
At its core, the problem lies in obsolete views and conceptions about
gender roles in sex abuse cases, and demands that we remind ourselves
why bestiality is even a crime in the first place.
There still seems to be a common attitude that men simply can not be
“sexually assaulted” by women and that any sexual contact a
male has with a female inherently implies some level of consent on the male’s part, and that whether or not the male admits it, he
“had” to have taken pleasure in it.
This is why female animals used for sex with men are nearly always
thought of as victims, while male
dogs used for sex with women may be characterized as willing
participants who are now “addicted” to having sex
with people and can never be safely adopted.
Actually, to engage in intercourse with a woman is so far removed from
a male dog’s normal range of behavior that the “sex”
between them often involves the woman immobilizing the dog while she forcibly uses
his erect penis as though it were a sex toy, a traumatic and harmful
experience for the dog. The process of conditioning a male dog to
“willingly” perform on command is
equally abusive and traumatizing to the animal.
Bestiality has been denounced in Abrahamic tradition for millennia as a
distortion of the laws of nature laid down by God. In more recent times
however, society has updated the case against bestiality to reflect
newly accepted animal welfare principals.
Anti-bestiality laws, under this modern sensibility, exist in part to
protect animals from non-consensual sexual activity similar to the way
age of consent laws protect minors from abuse inflicted by adults.
A minor, either male or female, in the eyes of the law, is incapable of
consenting to sexual activity with an adult, and is treated as an abuse
victim regardless of whether or not the child was “willing”
or played an active role in the encounter, while the adult offender is
held responsible for prompting or abetting the inappropriate conduct
and is punished for their crime.
The shared inability of children and animals to knowledgeably consent
to sexual activity is the common explanation animal advocates and law
enforcement agents give when asked why bestiality is a crime, and
it’s a pretty sound one, as anti-bestiality laws protect people
from health hazards, and protect animals from being injured and abused
by fetishists seeking gratification.
So why deny the Tulsa dogs, and others like them, the opportunity to be
rehabilitated and adopted, as so many other dogs with abusive
As mentioned before, a female dog that has been sodomized by a man is an obvious victim, but a male dog treated in the same way by a woman is more likely to be perceived as a willing participant in the crime
due to the assumption that since the dog had an erection and penetrated
the woman that he must have enjoyed it.
This is the same line of reasoning that has wrongly implicated men in
court as having “enjoyed” or “consented to”
unwanted sexual contact due to an involuntary erection reflex.
Between an energetic, playful looking female dog in the vet’s
office painted by tsk-tsking television reporters and veterinarians on
the afternoon news as having been “viciously raped by by a man”, and an unseen male dog described gruffly by
police in the newspaper as having been “trained to rape women”, which dog is
made to seem more innocent? Which dog sounds more deserving of sympathy
and love? Which would you be more willing to accept as a member of your
Thanks to gender bias and media imbalance, the chips are stacked against the male dog.
After all, who would want to expose their family to a dog known
throughout town (or even the whole country) as having been “trained
These stigmas may exist with sexually exploited female animals as well
to an extent, but female dogs, once again, have the advantage of being
perceived as innocent victims while a male dog in the same place could
be characterized as sex crazed or “perverted”.
The misconception that the male dog played an active or dominant role in
the illicit intercourse merely due to his having penetrated the woman could stir up worries that the dog has become
“depraved” and will attempt to behave inappropriately with
members of their adoptive families, particularly women and girls.
All rescued dogs, regardless of the nature of their abuse,
are spayed, neutered, and undergo behavioral assessments and obedience
training before they can become eligible for adoption, significantly
reducing or eliminating most if not all undesirable behavior.
That aside, concerns about dogs (both male and female) thrusting at the
legs of family members and guests is treated in many dog obedience
manuals as a fairly normal problem which can be curbed using ordinary
Another argument for the automatic euthanasia of animals like the Tulsa
dogs is that their destruction would serve as a warning to other
perverts to abandon their deviant ways or suffer the guilt of causing
the deaths of their animals.
If the constant risk of personal injury, illness, public humiliation, a
prison sentence, and sex offender status isn’t enough to scare
these obsessive fetishists straight, the threat of court mandated
euthanasia of their animals won't inspire them to change, considering
the severe and sometimes fatal injuries that they inflict on their
animals for the sake of their own enjoyment.
Punishing the animals anti-bestiality laws are supposed to protect is not a logical strategy for preventing future crimes.
Luckily, Tulsa County Chief Deputy George Haralson rejected the notion
that the dogs were “trained to rape” and recognized their
role as victims of the couple’s perversions rather than willing
Haralson is responsible for getting two of the dogs a safe home in the
largest animal sanctuary in the US, the Best Friends Animal Society,
where they will be treated without prejudice and live until they are
adopted. The third dog, if awarded to the court, will face similar
Direct comparisons between human and animal rights often draw vehement
moral outrage, but when female animals subjected to bestiality by men
are nearly always regarded as victims, while three male dogs in the
same position in Tulsa, Oklahoma were characterized as rapists and were
nearly killed for it, it parallels the challenges male sex abuse
subjects sometimes face in being taken seriously as victims.
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