Father Shoots Dog And Himself At Son’s Graveside

I don’t think it is morally correct to kill a dog or any pet for that matter before committing suicide. I have the greatest of sympathy for this father who had lost his son in a car accident. The father, Mr Hinchcliffe, aged 52, could not come to terms with the death of his son in a car crash last October 2013. The two were inseparable. They would do everything together: hunting and fishing with the dog that they shared (I detest hunting by the way).

Anyway, the point is that Mr Hinchliffe, his son Ben (aged 20) and their dog, Jake, were very close companions. It seems Mr Hinchcliffe wanted to be with his son again, on the other side, over the Rainbow Bridge. I can understand that. I’m sympathetic about that. I can feel the pain that he felt. This post is not meant to be critical of him but there is one aspect of his behaviour about which I feel compelled to be critical or at least questioning.

He shot his dog, Jake, with a shotgun so that he and his son could be together on the other side with Jake. He wanted to recreate their friendship in the other world, beyond the grave. I comprehend that as well and I see the point.

However, Mr Hinchliffe had no right to shoot Jake. He had no right to make a decision about Jake’s life at that point in time. He had no right to take Jake’s life on the basis that he wanted Jake to follow him to the afterlife. It is a very personal decision whether one wants to commit suicide and to go to the afterlife – if you believe in the afterlife.

A person has no right to impose such a personal and terminal decision about themselves on any other sentient being. It is an entirely personal decision. To take another sentient being with you is self-indulgent. It is selfish and destructive. It is also quite possibly a crime under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Mrs Hinchliffe states that her husband was a wonderful man. She knows and I’m sure she is right but he made a mistake.

“He just wanted all 3 of them to be together” (Mrs Hinchcliffe)

He wanted something that he could not have. He should have accepted it.

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Father Shoots Dog And Himself At Son’s Graveside — 6 Comments

  1. So poor Mrs Hinchcliffe who had already lost her son, has now lost her husband and the dog too who might have brought her a bit of comfort in her grief!
    How very selfish of Mr Hinchcliffe! There may not be ‘another side’ and if that’s so he will be oblivious to everything, as will poor Jake who didn’t choose to die to find out.

  2. I’m very sorry for Mrs Hinchcliffe and understand that her husband may have killed himself while his mind was disturbed by grief, but any sympathy I would have felt for him was wiped out by the fact of him murdering the family dog and by his previous indiscriminate killing of whatever animals he hunted. He couldn’t face and accept loss when it came to him yet he hadn’t hesitated to take life himself, animals suffer from bereavement too but he didn’t use his experience of loss to learn and grow and stop taking lives, he just took the dogs and his own as well. Tragic all round.

  3. I can appreciate how distraught this man must have been. All I can think of is that he must have been half out of his mind with grief not to have had the forethought to think what it all would do to his wife.
    I have no criticism for anyone who wants to do themselves in. But, leave me and my cats alone.

    • There is a good and bad way to commit suicide. Anyone who takes anybody or any animal with them is doing it in the bag away. The civilised and elegant way is to do it alone with minimal harm to anybody else.

  4. Sometimes people in their grief kill their pet because they have no guarantee that they will be looked after when they’ve gone – this I can understand and when I started reading I thought there was father and son and no one else, then I hear about a wife! She could have looked after the dog and he could have had a happy life how terribly sad 🙁

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