Target: Virginia Huxley, Owner of the Columbia Canine Sports Center
Goal: End cruel “Barn Hunt” of domesticated rats
The Columbia Canine Sports Center is a renowned dog-training facility in Columbia, Missouri. However, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), one training exercise centers around a “Barn Hunt” of domesticated rats. In this so-called hunt, living rats are stuffed into tubes and hidden in hay bales, which dogs-in-training must then sniff out by scent.
It should be obvious that torturing rats is no way to train a domestic animal. Dogs must be properly socialized to respect other animals in order to thrive in human society. Although some dogs are trained intentionally for hunting, stuffing another domesticated creature into a tube and hiding it in a barn is not hunting. It is just cruel and unusual.
Rats are intelligent, social creatures who feel pain and fear, and who bond with members of their own families. Although Columbia Canine Sports Center officials claim no animals are hurt during this exercise, animal rights advocates deny that can possibly be true due to the nature of the event. Shoving an animal carelessly into a tube and then encouraging a predator to find it is clearly animal abuse, especially when considering that these are domesticated rats unused to fighting off predators. Ask the Columbia Canine Sports Center to end this cruel practice.
Dear Ms. Huxley,
Torturing one domesticated creature for sport is no way to train another domesticated creature for society. The Columbia Canine Sports Center has come under fire from animal rights groups for its “Barn Hunt,” a dog “training” exercise in which domesticated rats are stuffed into tubes and hidden in a barn for dogs-in-training to find by scent. Encouraging dogs to adopt a predatory nature towards other domestic creatures is a recipe for disaster. It will only encourage those dogs to harm other pets once they leave your program. Furthermore, attempting to train a dog to hunt by stuffing a rat into a tube from which it cannot escape does not even simulate a practical, real-world situation. It’s just cruel and unusual.
Domesticated rats are intelligent creatures who feel pain and fear. They love their lives and develop friendships with their companions. They are not used to fending off predators in the wild, and they should not be subjected to this cruel “Barn Hunt.” I ask that you stop this practice at your facility henceforth.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Linsenhejhej via Wikimedia