All Bike, No Brains

RDMDzRGFor those who fear that law is a diminishing profession, fear not. There are still ample numbers of moronic individuals who seem driven to have accidents. This guy is one such person. I am less concerned about his decision to forego a helmet than I am the safety of this dog. What I see is a guy with matching shorts and motorbike and a dog that seem more like an accessory to the outfit than a companion to the biker. I see a very loving dog and an owner who seems to care less about the dog’s welfare.

There is little protecting this animal from a sudden stop or swerve. When such accidents occur, the owners often express shock as if this was not a clearly foreseeable accident waiting to happen. While we have child endangerment, we do not have similarly enforced law for animal endangerment.

Consider a standard animal cruelty provision from California:

ยง597. Cruelty to animals.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (c) of this section or Section 599c, every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures or wounds a living animal or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of an offence punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (a) or (c), every person who overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal, or causes or procures any animal to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, or to be cruelly beaten, mutilated, or cruelly killed; and whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner abuses any animal, or fails to provide the animal with proper food, drink, or shelter or protection from the weather, or who drives, rides, or otherwise uses the animal when unfit for labor, is for every such offence, guilty of a crime punishable as a misdemeanoror as a felony or alternatively punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony and by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).

(c) Every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates or tortures any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish as described in subdivision (d), is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and the imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

Most of the provisions deal with intentional harm or over-working an animal or not affording shelter or food. While I do not believe that it is necessary to criminalize the lack of restraints in cars, I found this picture more shocking than charming. I see a dog who trusts his owner and an owner who cares little over protecting the dog. Should this a crime?

26 thoughts on “All Bike, No Brains

  1. Having actually ridden a motorcycle many years ago I gave it up after my first injury one week later, which was due to an unseen, small sand patch on the road. That showed me that as a vehicle it can be quite dangerous even if one is well-equipped to handle it. To ride on a bike, sans helmet, in shorts and sandals is abysmally stupid. To have a dog on ones back raises the stakes to moronic. One of my closest friends rode big Harley’s for years. One day, with his 8 year old son in back he went down. This was in the mid-70’s when no one wore helmets. Both survived without major injuries but he sold his bike. I understand the joy of riding, but if you do wearing a helmet and protective clothing is the sensible way to follow your dream.

  2. Stupid and dangerous for himself and dog surely. Dangerous enough to others to have society protect themselves from him? Debatable.

  3. “having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, ” If the animal gets hurt it was an intentional behavior of the owner that caused the dog to come to sych suffering.

  4. Just this morning I saw something out in public I thought for sure was the dumbest human behavior I was going to see all month.

    I was wrong.

    However, I’m not sure this level of stupidity should be criminal. Yes, yes, it’s revolting and potentially cruel, but if Organ Donor there survives the crash himself he’ll have to live with what he’s done to his dog in his childish idiotic efforts to “look cool”. Unless he’s a sociopath, that’ll be punishment enough and if he is a sociopath, no amount of criminalization would deter him.

    That being said, I’ve ridden bikes quite a bit. So have a lot of my friends. After you see one with road rash, crippled or dead from not wearing proper gear and/or doing something stupid? You either develop a healthy respect for the physics of riding a motorcycle or you 100% own the consequences. Even when you do everything right (helmet, pads, heavy clothes, boots, gloves)? You can still die horribly on a bike and through no bad action of your own. Respect a motorcycle if you’re going to ride it. They are like the sea. They can kill you in an instant.

  5. Professor JT,

    You can forward a copy of this picture, along with your comments, to a few nationally recognized, animal rights organizations. I don’t know of one off the top of my head, but I am sure you can find out?

    You can also forward this to a few state representatives (I am sure you know of a few) and/or to CNN. I am sure they will identify this clown/biker, and start the wheels turning to provide more protections for the dog, and possibly bring charges against this loser.

  6. I worked for a few years on a brain injury rehab unit. A large number of the injuries were from motorcycles and bicycles, sans helmet. These guys and an occasional female were incredibly difficult to take care of, between the all the ortho equipment on their limbs and the extreme combativeness/confusion once they were out of the coma, that is if they progressed that far. Some only progressed to a vegetative state.

    The rider here seems to already be lacking a bit of gray matter. Criminal? No.

  7. He’s a young dude, tatted up, filled w/ testosterone, riding a crotch rocket somewhere in the western US. It is his inalienable right to be an idiot.

  8. A bi-cycle (two cycles) or a motor-cycle (bi-cycle with a motor) gives us an empirical illusion in the U.S.eh?:

    ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    (Saint Warmonger The Hero). Anyone remember the golfer Lee Trevino who used to say “you can feel it when you drive.”

  9. Michael.

    Look closely, his left arm is visible and his hand appears to be in the correct position on the left of the handlebar.

  10. It should be criminal, not only for the lack of regard for the dog’s safety, but for the fact that in a sudden maneuver, the dog’s body can act like a projectile creating unsafe conditions for other drivers.

  11. While I do not think it is criminal for this mental giant to ride his bike without a helmet or reasonable clothing, but I do think it is criminal for him to endanger his dog.

  12. Sorry Carlyle, looks to me like he’s riding with one hand controlling the bike.

    That dog looks like it’s in a stress position. How long before it has to shift its front paws, and what happens then?

    I think this should be a crime, but then again, I’m not a true libertarian.

  13. This sort of thing just infuriates me to no end. (I get the same way when I see dogs or children riding unsecured in the back of pick up trucks.) Acting stupidly and having no regard for one’s own self is one thing…to selfishly and recklessly place that dog in such potentially disastrous circumstances is simply unconscionable.

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