I'm a big "benefit of the doubt" guy. When people do things I try (as hard as it is sometimes) to put myself in their shoes.
So I started thinking about this 54-year old man charged with animal cruelty for taking his sick dog out back and shooting it like Ol' Yeller.
Relatively new to this area, I'd never heard of Moro, Illinois. I thought, maybe it's so rural and so far from a regular town perhaps there's not a veterinarian within 50 miles... Or maybe the dog owner is so dirt poor he didn't think he could afford to have his pet put to sleep.
As it turns out, Moro IS a rural area. The alleged dog killer's property borders a farm field. But guess what else I found? There's an animal clinic exactly two miles from his home. Neighbors in his middle-class neighborhood tell me he has a good job and goes on vacations so he's not even close to being indigent.
So what to make of this guy?
I have two dogs I love dearly. I know if they don't die in their sleep of old age, one day a health and quality of life issue will force my wife and I to have them put down.
Is it possible Nettleton loved his dog just as much as I love mine and shooting his dog was the only way he knew to put the dog out of its misery?
By the way, I have no idea how old his dog "Max" was or just how miserable it was. One neighbor suggested someone else was willing to take the dog which apparently had seizures.
My in-laws have a dog that's on anti-seizure medication and while the dog's not at lively as he used to be, he's living a decent life... but I digress.
Another part of me wonders if this guy just didn't want to deal with a dog with health problems and decided this was the quickest, easiest way to do away with it.
I also wonder if he started to have second thoughts about what he was doing as his dog yelped louder and louder in pain until he finally fired the shot that finished him off.