In the past 18 months Scot Dutcher (aka Skinnyhorse) has published nearly 4,700 tweets, half at his Department of Agriculture job overseeing 100 animal-cruelty investigators.
Dutcher is part of a group on Twitter, mostly involved in animal agribusiness, who have been bashing The Humane Society of the United States for the past couple of years. The HSUS became their target when it became the target of the deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom.
The HSUS is fighting back, though, giving Denver media outlets the scoop on Dutcher.
"Colorado animals and taxpayers deserve better than this," said Holly Tarry, the state director of the Humane Society of the United States. "A state employee charged with protecting animals that clocks in and spends his day churning out anti-animal protection tweets.""In another tweet, the state's principle animal cruelty investigator criticized the felony charge for a woman who taped a dog to the fridge."
Tarry points to one tweet that compares the inability to shoot owned animals to the inability to destroy inanimate objects.
Denver's Channel 9 news reported that in one tweet "he sarcastically called on people to 'eat more polar bears.' In another he mentioned 'that success over animal rights is the best revenge.'"
Unfortunately, the Department of Agriculture protects its own. Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Jim Miller gave him a talking to and reminded employees about the department's social-networking policy, but Dutcher still has his job.
"There really should be no reason why organizations shouldn't trust him," [Miller said].But large animal-advocacy groups, like The HSUS, work with state agencies all the time on animal-cruelty cases. If Dutcher dislikes these groups so much that he spends hours a day criticizing them, how can he work with them to help animals?
Dutcher's Twitter profile says he's "Anti-animal rights, pro animal welfare. Support animal use in ag, exhibition, sporting, and med research." While readers of this blog know that animal welfare means very little, he may be even less than an animal-welfarist. In July he retweeted and commented on a post.
While we bicker about animal welfare... RT @AmericanHumane @DenverPostPicks: Child-poverty rate increases 50% in COThe HSUS's Tarry called him on it on Denver's Channel 7 news.
"I think it's one thing to be concerned with child poverty, but to pit it against animal protection is a really strange position for the chief of animal protection to take."(Image courtesy of FashionablyGeek.com.)