Whose rights come first?

I apologise that so much of my inspiration comes from France and I have to give links to French newspapers. This is an interesting problem.


A homeless man, though it turns out that he does have a roof over his head, has been begging on the streets of Nice accompanied by a Jack Russell puppy.  This little dog has now been taken from him by an animal welfare charity. Local businesses have drafted a petition to have the dog returned to the man.

It turns out that, although a kind waiter brings the man food and the dog always gets some, French cuisine does not always agree with canine tummies.  This beggar has already had animals removed from his care. Personally when I see beggars anywhere accompanied by cats and dogs, my first instinct is to cut the leads and make off with the animals.  A friend of our daughter kindheartedly bought some food for the dog in one instance and needless to say got a mouthful of abuse by way of thanks. Presumably you don’t get much by way of drink or drugs in exchange for a tin of Whiskas

Personally I think the local businesses in this corner of Nice are wrong.  The beggar lost his wife and daughter in a fire, it is reported, but no one put a collar and lead on him and made him sit all day on the pavement.

11 thoughts on “Whose rights come first?”

  1. “The beggar lost his wife and daughter in a fire, it is reported, but no one put a collar and lead on him and made him sit all day on the pavement” – That is probably because he is not a dog. Animals wear collars and leads, people don’t.

    Sorry Sheona, but if the poor guy really did lose his wife and daughter in a fire, the last thing that should happen is for his dog to be taken away too.

  2. The beggar has been on the street for more than fifteen years, gazoopi, and has already had dogs taken from him. What I was trying to say, but obviously not clearly enough, is that this is the guy’s own choice. The dogs had no choice.

  3. Thanks Sheona, for the extra explanation. I was in a discussion with two people last week, who were both trying to tell me that they prefer animals to humans, which to be honest leaves me a little cold. The only people I know who prefer animals to humans are socially incompetent and that is, I assume their reasoning.

    It was this discussion last week, that probably caused me to comment a little strongly.

    I still believe, however, that removing an animal from someone because they don’t quite conform to society’s idea of perfect animal care, is a slippery slope. Of course, genuine cruelty must be stopped.

  4. Thanks for your response, gazoopi. I’m not one of the “prefer animals to humans” brigade, but I do prefer cats to dogs. I once witnessed a man, whether homeless or not I don’t know, being arrested and put in a police car. His dog was going frantic, racing round the car and leaping up and down. The car drove off and I don’t know what happened to the dog.

  5. Sheona, I used to like dogs much more than cats, but we have a little jet black cat currently that knocks the socks off all of my previous pets. She had a very hard life for the first two years and it is just as though she knows that she finally has a loving home and is the perfect pet. We had to put her in a cattery with our local vets while we were away in the UK as we had no return dates planned. After all of that time she took about 5 minutes to feel at home again when we collected her on Monday.

  6. I would have thought that a lot hung on the condition of the dog. if it were not being fed properly and obviously thin etc then it should be removed immediately. If it were OK then leave it. Why are ‘rights’ even to be considered?

    Used to have this in Haverfordwest, begging with dogs. I always went and bought a tin of dog food and it was appreciated. I went so far as to find out the type the dog liked! Had I been sworn at there would have been such verbal retribution as to give the beggar a very nasty shock! I have always prided myself in being able to outswear the average longshoreman! The art form being to be able to keep going for a couple of minutes without repeating oneself and thoroughly disparaging the recipient’s whole family tree back to the flood! (Too many years in the print trade!)

    I have always preferred dogs to humans, far more reliable! The boy always used to make faux complaints that I preferred whatever current canine incumbent of the time to him. I used to enumerate the ways that the dog was better until we dissolved into hysterical laughter. Generally at the disparity of both being able to lick their respective rear ends! The boy just couldn’t reach!!! There has always been a definite pecking order in my households. Dogs first, boy second, husbands third. They tended to last less time than the dogs and fart and snore more in bed!

  7. I can’t see the point of pests. Idiotic creatures that require constant attention and are only loyal to the people who feed them. You can kick a dog every day for a month, but feed it for a couple of days and it will love you passionately.

  8. sipu, rubbish. I think you vastly underestimate dog’s characters and suspect you have never had a relationship with a canine. Have you never seen dogs that have been ill treated?

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