Sheriff Joe Arpaio, yes, that Sheriff Joe, apparently has a softer side. Arpaio, nationally renowned for his tough tactics of forcing his inmates to sport the color pink, and live in Tent Cities in the heat of Arizona’s climate, has taken on the problem of animal abuse in Maricopa County.
According to his website, First Avenue jail houses smaller animals that are rescued from abuse and neglect cases, while larger animals are placed in a fenced arena adjacent to Tent City.
Arpaio, often referred to as the “toughest Sheriff in the world” has been criticized of treating animals better than the inmates. . .to which he responded:
I usually respond by saying the animals are victims and as such, deserve to be treated well. Inmates, on the other hand, have broken the law by victimizing others. They deserve to be treated humanely but not delicately.
We have taken several people into custody over the years and we have rescued untold numbers of horses, pigs, ducks, donkeys, goats, monkeys, turtles, birds and, of course, cats and dogs.
All the animals stay with us until the case against the animal’s owner is adjudicated in court. Sometimes, the animals are ordered by the judge to be returned to the owner. But usually, they are signed over to the Sheriff’s care. That’s when we hold adoptions. We are a no kill shelter. As long as I am Sheriff, there will be a place in this office to house and care for abused animals we take in from our investigations. And it should go without saying; there will always be room in my jails for the animal abusers.
A lot of police professionals will disagree with my belief about law enforcement’s duty to prioritize animal abuse and neglect problems. They may justify their position by saying there is enough on their plates just dealing with felons.
But I believe animal abuse and neglect is a serious problem that too often leads to far more serious offenses like child abuse and other acts of violence against people.
That aside, animal abuse and neglect is just wrong! It turns my stomach.
I say, Go Sheriff Joe! I mean, you’ve got to love a man who has a inspired an entire line of *pink* and loves animals.