This happened in South Carolina, where they recognize that animals are property. The 'killing a dog is killing a cop' are all mentioned in states that are way on the left/statist spectrum and will pass laws just because they can, not because they make sense. And the article has to go to Maryland (another left/statist state) to come up with an example of someone who was charged with a crime for leaving a dog in a car. One cherry picked example does not influence my thought process.
What I wonder is if regular citizens don't get charged with animal cruelty in South Carolina if they do the same thing. If they don't then the oficer shouldn't either. If they are, the officer should be too.
That all said, I love dogs and I do believe that leaving a dog in a hot car is reckless, wrong, lazy, and possibly evil. But does the government have the right to tell you what to do with your property? What about slaughterhouses - they are 'cruel' to their animals? This is just another place where laws are arbitrary and enforced on only those they want to enforce them on. That is a danger to liberty.
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