Animals are not weapons (and other things they’re not)

Animals are not weapons (and other things they’re not)

Today, camels are used to take tourists for leisurely rides in the Moroccan desert. But in the very old days of egomaniacal generals, they were set on fire and used to attack enemies. And until recently, dolphins weren’t just playful sideshow sea creatures that kids love to watch. They too were once used as instruments of war.

We normally talk about animals with a certain level of legal authority when we’re discussing dog bite injuries (making a claim against erring owners, determining liability, and so on) with our clients in Renton. Today’s agenda does not involve pitching for vegetarianism. It is merely to remind you of what animals are not.

Alligators are not a firebomb

Anyone foolish enough to use any animal in a cruel prank couldn’t do worse than an alligator — it’s vicious, it’s aggressive, it’s scary. Using it for such a purpose may also land you in jail, as in the case of Florida resident Joshua James who was charged with aggravated assault for throwing a 3 ½-foot gator into the windows of a Wendy’s restaurant.

Mr. James threw the reptile to prank a friend who worked in the restaurant, which would have been hilarious on an adult cartoon show but just nasty in real life. The state Fish and Wildlife Service, particularly, did not find it entertaining.

Aside from the occasional tendency to hurl a reptile into windows of fast-food chains, Mr. James was otherwise found to be an average Joe who idolizes Steve Irwin, practices twisted pranks, and has some unfortunate friends.

Cats are not an assault weapon

Project Runway season five contestant Kenley Collins became an enemy of the cat community when she turned an ex’s tabby into material for a weapon design challenge in which she was the lone participant.

What went down: Kenley assembled a set of weapons comprised of a laptop, apples, water, and a cat with which to hurt her ex. This was all done perhaps in an attempt to inflict a weird sort of pain out of all those textures.

Being a fashion designer, Kenley is obviously a resourceful person. But although the level of her attack’s creativity was intriguing, it was largely seen as an act of violence for which she faced felony charges.

Needless to say, no one appreciated her cattiness — not her fellow contestants on Project Runway, not the Brooklyn police who arrested her, and certainly not cat lovers.

Goats are not promposal props

Some people would go to great lengths to be funny and cute like Georgia high schooler Jacob Michels and his mates who stole a goat to ask a girl to prom. Jacob wanted to impress a girl with his creativity and wit by using a goat named Chip as a prop with which to ask the lucky girl, “Would you goat to the prom with me?”

Get it? “Goat” in place of the perfectly serviceable “go.” We imagine this fine piece of comic yet romantic gesture would’ve killed and she would have said yes — because who doesn’t appreciate a goat pun?

But instead of downloading a photo of a goat, Photoshopping his face on it, and putting the intended caption on it like a normal kid, he had to go out and disturb a neighbor’s kid.

He probably would have swept her off her feet too if he and the friends he’d goaded to steal the billy were able to pull it off. But they weren’t. He and his buddies faced livestock theft for horning in on the goat’s privacy.

There are so many fun ways to ask someone out to prom or demonstrate one’s comedic skills. Shanghaiing a goat or weaponizing an oversized lizard is unnecessary, strange, and criminal.

Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams will defend your right against dog bites and irresponsible pet owners in Seattle. And if someone injures you using an oversized gecko, call us too.