The most famous cover in National Lampoon’s history showed a dog with a gun to its head. “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine,” the caption read, “We’ll Kill This Dog.”
That’s the subtext of Pat Quinn’s latest anti-Bill Brady ad, which takes on Brady for sponsoring a bill to allow mass executions of pets. If you don’t vote for Pat Quinn, Bill Brady will kill your dog.
The ad shows a couple of burly guys throwing dogs into a gas chamber, accompanied by a soundtrack of terrified animal squeals. Then we see a young woman cuddling a little lapdog on North Avenue. She’s a Republican, she says, but she doesn’t support Brady “for the mass euthanization of animals.”
Now, the Democrats have a specter as frightening as President Obama’s Death Panels. If Brady wins, he may convene Dog Panels, to determine which animals are fit to live. The supposedly pro-life candidate would weed out dogs with three legs, dogs with one eye, and dogs that pee on the rug. In the interest of breed purity, any mongrel not registered with the American Kennel Club would be shipped to a concentration camp in the Shawnee National Forest.
Brady’s bill would have overturned a law that banned veterinarians from throwing dogs into a mass gas chamber and killing them with engine exhaust, the way the Germans used to kill Jewish people and gypsies. That practice was banned in 2009, after lobbying from the Humane Society, and replaced with lethal injection. Brady introduced the bill on Feb. 4, two days after winning the Republican primary, at the request of a veterinarian. He dropped the proposal in March, after it drew negative publicity for his gubernatorial campaign.
I understand the fears of dog owners. My dog is 13 years old. Just last night, he showed the first signs of old age. After a lifetime of jumping on my houseguests and trying to hump everything in the park across the street, Jack was suddenly having trouble walking in a straight line, or staying on his feet. He bumped into walls and fell on the floor. I had to carry him down three flights of stairs for his evening walk. For the first time, I had to think about the worst day of a dog owner’s life. I know my dog will die at home, or on a veterinarian’s table, and I’m glad every other dog in Illinois will die with the same dignity.