Saturday, September 7, 2013

hostis humani generis - the enemy of humanity


Excerpt from a 1897 U.S. Supreme Court decision.


Sentell v. New Orleans & Carrollton R. Co., 166 U.S. 698 (1897)

Decided: April 26, 1897
As it is practically impossible by statute to distinguish between the different breeds, or between the valuable and the worthless, such legislation as has been enacted upon the subject, though nominally including the whold canine race, is really directed against the latter class, and is based upon the theory that the owner of a really valuable dog will feel sufficient interest in him to comply with any reasonable regulation designed to distinguish him from the common herd. Acting upon the principle that there is but a qualified property in them, and that, while private interests require that the valuable ones shall be protected, public interests demand that the worthless shall be exterminated, they have, from time immemorial, been considered as holding their lives at the will of the legislature, and properly falling within the police powers of the several states. Laws for the protection of domestic animals are regarded as having but a limited application to dogs and cats; and, regardless of statute, a ferocious dog is looked upon as hostis humani generis, and as having no right to his life which man is bound to respect. Putnam v. Payne, 13 Johns. 312; Hinckley v. Emerson, 4 Cow. 351; Brown v. Carpenter, 26 Vt. 638; Woolf v. Chalker, 31 Conn. 121; Brent v. Kimball, 60 Ill. 211; Maxwell v. Palmerton, 21 Wend. 407.

13 comments:

Packhorse said...

Spur-of-the-moment adoption of a pit bull because you're afraid it will be euthanized is always SUCH a great idea...

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/117587977409385980572/albums/5920672713751648113/5920672713005569554?pid=5920672713005569554&oid=117587977409385980572

So sad when pittie dies but we gotta keep breeding 'em!

Anonymous said...

I like the citation and it seems sensible to me so-how did the US go SO wrong? Now a dog MUST be saved, even if it's killed a baby. The hordes of brainless zombies will pour money into this end instead of the funeral or medical costs of a human victim.

Anonymous said...

I like the citation and it seems sensible to me so-how did the US go SO wrong? Now a dog MUST be saved, even if it's killed a baby. The hordes of brainless zombies will pour money into this end instead of the funeral or medical costs of a human victim.

scorched earth said...

Earth to rescue angels... frequently there is a reason that these dogs have been surrendered or abandoned. They are AGGRESSIVE! The world did not fail them, their DNA is stone dangerous.

dawn james said...

"They only have tonight.
They only have you."

wow, that is just screaming for some unstable lost soul looking for a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

dawn james said...

"how did the US go SO wrong?"

political correctness + pathological altruism.

Anonymous said...

Love this.

snarky said...


i dont get it , how did society go so wrong ? that a breed of dog gets to surpass the rights of innocent humans and lessor animals.

Opalina said...

"a ferocious dog is looked upon as hostis humani generis, and as having no right to his life which man is bound to respect."

Yes, Yes, Yes! I think when I came to this conclusion in my own mind I became a happier, much more well-adjusted person. When I came to the realization that "it is just a dog," I no longer had to suffer from overwrought emotions of indignation at the plight of a doggy being put down. It is not cold -- it is common sense. I love dogs, don't get me wrong. But when they prove they are not fit human companions, dirt nap the sucker and don't look back!

Anonymous said...

When a dog is aggressive and violent towards humans without provocation (I think every living being has the right to defend itself if it's being attacked) then all you can do is euthanise.

No one should feel bad about this, there is nothing else to be done. Instincts cannot be trained or loved out of an animal (not even humans... Which is why psychopaths should never be released from prisons except by death). Instincts can only be managed or bred out through multiple generations of selective breeding.

Selective breeding has made the pitbull mess and only selective breeding will fix it. Law enforcement should focus on finding and heavily punishing anyone breeding fighting dogs and have all the dogs of those lines destroyed. Unfortunately instead many of these dogs caught in such raids end up in rescue centres, and get rehomed to innocent families who have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

Other pitbulls that have no aggressive tendencies could be bred to produce gentler offspring until the breed is no longer dangerous. Then those pit owners that claim to be intelligent, reasonable people can still own a dog that looks like a pit without the negative qualities associated with them.

april 29 said...

Anon 4:20

Pit bull owners don't want the "aggressive tendencies" bred out. That's what makes a pit a pit. Nobody is breeding for "gentler" pit bulls.

snarky said...


yes april 29

theres a jekyll n hyde quality to pitters as well as their dogs .

one instant saying how wonderfull the breed is .....the next saying how deadly .

Anonymous said...

@ Snarky and april 29

I fear you are correct and the pit bull idiots probably do want nasty, vicious dogs... Then by dominating the nasty vicious dog they feel empowered somehow...

But breeding out the aggression has been done with bulldogs in the past so it could be done again.

Although in the bulldog's case it resulted in a horribly deformed animal that should also go extinct to prevent any more cruelty (breathing problems / heart problems / overheating problems etc).