In early November, the teacher of an agriculture class at Stephens Co High School in Georgia brought 2 cats into class and castrated them without anesthetic, having students hold the pets down. One student was bitten.
So that happened.
The teacher, Daniel Hebert, is not a licensed veterinarian and I was unable to find any information as to whether the cats had been vaccinated against rabies prior to the incident. I am guessing he owned the cats although I couldn’t find a source for that information.
The state department of agriculture investigated and said nothing illegal had happened. Which is swell news for every wannabe vet yahoo looking for a place to set up shop – Georgia is your destination. You can play vet there, and apparently there are no rabies laws either.
The ACO from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter was asked to investigate and determined there was cause to issue a summons for two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. The pound director, Jeff Roberts, seems apologetic about having to do his job:
“I can’t really go into specifics of the case, other than to say that we have investigated it. We’re required to enforce county codes, and as part of our investigation we made the determination that it was warranted to issue a summons for 2 counts of animal cruelty, Then, it will be up to the judge to make the final determination in this case.”
I am not sure why the pound director seems hesitant to call out animal cruelty when in fact he should be the one leading the charge for justice for the poor cats. Maybe it’s because the director realizes no one in the community has his back.
At the Stephens Co commission meeting this week, people came out in support of Hebert and things got ugly:
A host of people who spoke to the county commission Tuesday night questioned where animal control received its authority to issue the summons.
“He has not been sworn in,” said Revonda Seymour. “I talked to all the judges. Where is he getting his authority from?”
In fact, county code specifies that an ACO is empowered to enforce the animal cruelty laws in Stephens Co.
Becky Deitz-Payne said what has happened to Hebert is ridiculous and has been blown out of proportion.
“He is a wonderful teacher,” she said. “I think what he did in class is completely okay. They would not have been able to see that under any other circumstance unless they went to college if they were going for some type of degree in that field.”
The kids would never have been able to witness the miracle of animal cruelty if the teacher hadn’t tortured the cats in class. And don’t worry about obtaining “some type of degree in that field” – the state department of agriculture says it’s unnecessary!
A fellow agriculture teacher from Stephens Co Middle School also spoke in support of Hebert, decrying the social media exposure the case has received and condemning those annoying people who oppose cat torture:
“Just because we have animal rights activists out there that get all bent out of shape.”
And then there’s this guy:
Stephens County Commission Chair Dean Scarborough told the students that came to show their support for Hebert to take this as a lesson of the dangers of social media, noting that once you put something out there on social media, it is out there and can be as harmful as something that is said face to face.
Let this be a lesson to you, kids. Torture animals discreetly and ixnay on the acebook-fay.
Hebert resigned immediately after the incident went public then yoinked his resignation and decided to stay until the end of the school year in June. Apparently the school is fine with that. The department of agriculture is fine with it. County officials are fine with it. And the animal shelter staff is just sorry they had to do their jobs and follow the law.
Has anyone checked the lesson plans for Hebert’s class over the next 6 months? Maybe somebody should – I mean, if they’ve been sworn in and they ask super nice and all the county judges say it’s ok and they don’t talk about it online or anything.
Way to make the south look progressive there, Stephens Co. Thanks. Hebert is scheduled to appear before the magistrate on December 18. I’m sure those proceedings too will reflect positively on all of us here in the south.
Geez, twice in one week. What are the odds? Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.
(Thank you to the reader who sent me this story.)