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 Defense of the Three Dogs From Tulsa

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 judge’s signature.

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) “conventional” ways.

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 backgrounds have?

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 family?

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 to rape”?

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 training techniques.

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 participants.

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 treatment.

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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