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The Difference Between Euthanasia and Torture, Morally and Legally

A video surfaced of a teacher, Dewie Brewton, drowning a raccoon during school. No charges were pressed, he wasn’t fired, and there actually people defending his actions.

Ocala Teacher Drowns Animals During Class “Just For Sport,” Makes Students Watch and Help

Morally, it’s pretty obvious that drowning a living creature to death is wrong. Morals are not objective though, as each person has their own definition of morality. We must use hard facts when expressing our belief that drowning an animal is inhumane, and also illegal.

Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) states that “live-captured nuisance wildlife must be released legally or euthanized humanely within 24 hours of capture or trap inspection.” They refer to the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia for guidelines.

The guidelines set by the AVMA explicitly prohibit drowning as a means for euthanizing an animal.

On the last page of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition, Appendix 3, it states:

Drowning is not a means of euthanasia and is inhumane.

Florida Statutes 828.24 states:

No person shall kill an animal in any way except by an approved humane method.”

That section is part of 828.12 Cruelty to Animals, which states that “a person who […] kills any animal […] in a cruel or inhumane manner […] commits animal cruelty.” The guidelines referenced by the FWC clearly state that drowning is “inhumane.”

So there you have it. What Dewie Brewton did was illegal.

Please sign our petition demanding that Dewie Brewton is charged criminally, and also fired from his job.

The good folks at Project Coyote believe that raccoons are not to blame with an incident like this and that the onus is on property owners, farmers, and ranchers to implement good animal husbandry techniques and humane livestock protection solutions. They are stumped as to why an AG department wouldn’t build a predator-proof chicken coop.

They offer nonlethal solutions to reduce conflicts on their website ProjectCoyote.org, including proper fencing and easily built cages.

Predator proof chicken coop designed and built by Project Coyote Science Advisory Board Member David Parsons

This incident should make a national example of how to be a responsible chicken owner.

UPDATE: Dewie Brewton has since retired, according to WESH. He submitted a signed letter indicating his retirement effective immediately on Thursday, May 17, 2018. He has been the agriculture educator there since 2006.

It’s up to the FWC to present the evidence to the Fifth Judicial Circuit state attorney’s office, who will then decide whether to press charges or not. The Marion County Office of the State Attorney was not able to provide our assistant with any information regarding the incident, and declined to answer whether they expect charges to be pressed.

The FWC, in our opinion, remains committed to prosecuting animal abusers. They helped WTF Florida push for the indictment of Michael Wenzel and his buddies, who all tortured marine life. We expect they will gather the evidence and present a strong case against Dewie Brenton, and that the Fifth Judicial Circuit state attorney’s will press charges and prosecute Dewie Brenton to the full extent of the law. This expectation is supported by our petition, and by the watchful eye of the public.


Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NSRW_Common_Raccoon.png

The Difference Between Euthanasia and Torture, Morally and Legally

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Nice chicken coop. But it looks more like a granny flat instead of a chicken coop. If you’re willing to cover the high cost of replacing coops with granny flats in our chicken ranches, then by all means… Otherwise, this is just pie in the sky thinking and hyper-morality.

Andy Jenks
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Andy Jenks

Sack him sick man

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[…] mentioned the AVMA guidelines that we went over in The Difference Between Euthanasia and Torture, Morally and Legally and follows it up with a section of law that says “except when in the interest of medical […]

Diane Hine
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Diane Hine

Why is this man above the law stated above? What are we teaching our children? Torture of an animal leads to torturing of humans there is no sense of consequence no feeling for a living, breathing soul! Who are you to decide who and what lives and what dies……the nuisance is you Dewie, and then you threaten the children watching in horror or punishment if they tell. When I was in high school I never would have left you drown those poor creatures. You need to punished for your actions! No teaching for you!!! You are a horrible teacher!!!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

If this POS “teacher” saw nothing wrong with his actions, then why did he threaten students with referrals if they took videos of the act?

Animal Anger
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Animal Anger

Animal abuse laws in Florida are bad.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

The parents of the children who witnessed their piece of s**t teacher commit this horrific crime should get together in a joint law suit against the school. They need to sue the school for exposing their children to a criminal and inhumane act, and for the emotional distress that will scar these kids for their lifetime. And the whole school (students, parents and faculty) should walkout or protest until that teacher is fired and is legally stripped of his right to work in any school setting with children ever again. He is a sick individual and needs to seek psychiatric help.

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[…] though Dewie Brewton’s actions explicitly violate Florida Statutes, our elected officials are simply choosing not to press charges. Drowning is not an acceptable form […]

Derek Bond
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Derek Bond

This man is is not a decent human being although he thinks he is, this is certainly an inhuman heartless act. The kids who witnessed his actions will most certainly be affected by this, possibly for the rest of their lives. It cannot be unseen.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

As a school teacher he should be ashamed of himself in what he did he calls himself a man of faith if you were a true Christian and loves the Lord you would not have killed one of his creatures, remember animals were created by God long before man came on this planet. You are such a big fat asshole and does not know anything about your faith you will be judged by the end times and you will certainly be going to hell. The state of Florida should know the laws about wildlife it was illegal killing an innocent wildlife animal, this fat moron should be arrested and serve time in jail and the school should stop his paycheck as this is taxpayers money going to a muderer, l hope someday one of the wildlife animals will come to your farm and eat you.

Riley
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Riley

I’m sure people here have a widely different opinion from the one I’m about to share but hear me out. I graduated from Forest High School a few years ago and had Mr. Brewton as a teacher for some of my years there. He was by no means a bad person (or a hardend criminal as this post seems to paint him as) and he was very passionate about his FFA class. As someone who was raised entirely in Ocala, especially in a rural area, I can attest that euthanizing a raccoon by drowning it may not be the most morally correct way of handling it, it’s certainly not an unusual way and Mr. Brewton was definitely not the first person to handle it this way. While I agree that showing this process to the class was not the best idea, I would like you to consider the consequences of what you’re asking for. Mr. Brewton is not a bad man, and now as the result of this publicity, not only has he been forced to retire from teaching, but you people are actually pushing to have him face criminal charges for euthanizing a wild animal that was threating the farm animals he was raising. Consider that for a moment; this man’s life is now ruined for simply doing a simple task that he likely done several times before and probably thought was the morally right way to handle it. You people talk like he should face the harshest reprocussions for his moral infringement but consider the morality of weighing a wild raccoon against a mans livelyhood. All I ask is that you understand that not only is his career over from this (and he’ll likely have a hard time finding a decent job after this bad publicity around his name) but you’re also asking that even more punishment be sentenced upon him. I can’t speak for how remorseful he may or may not be, but I must stand up against the mob… Read more »

Lisa Perry
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Lisa Perry

Brewton needs to be criminally charged for the malicious and inhumane killing of numerous wild animals. He is a disgrace to the school system and he should not be allowed to retire since this investigation is still active….instead he should be TERMINATED and his retirement voided out. Criminals don’t deserve what decent people are entitled to because they are NOT decent citizens.

Come on Florida! Enforce your animal cruelty laws. You know and I know this was extremely INHUMANE killing and nothing short of torture and abuse.

Judy Helie
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Judy Helie

He need to be charged with animal cruelty resulting in death! Piece of worthless human in my book!! I hate people that have no compassion for defenseless animals!!

John J. Anastasio
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John J. Anastasio

I understand and agree. The question is what to do about it. Some random preliminary thoughts…. There are three initial avenues that first come to mind.. First a suit against the teacher and the school district at the least, for intentional infliction of mental distress and civil conspiracy. A child’s exposure to things like torture, which can by definition may cause post traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD). (See DSM-5, diagnostic criteria and diagnostic features under 309.81.) (I am a lawyer. I’d love to sue them for some parent on behalf of the children.. No settlement. It’s not about the money. Let it go to a jury. Even resignations I do not think are sufficient in this case. Everyone concerned needs to be PUNISHED PUBLICLY in a media circus.) These elected officials can’t be given a pass on this. To paraphrase B.F. Skinner said,, “Behavior rewarded is behavior repeated.” (His actual words were a little stilted, “A behavior followed by a reinforcing stimulus results in an increased probability of that behavior occurring in the future. “) Second, petitions are nice. BUT, we can do more. Perhaps crowd source to raise money for TV advertisements shaming the State Attorney and the School Board members individually. They are ELECTED officials. .As public officials, they are public figures. You can say anything you like about public figures under the First Amendment, unless it is done with malice. They need to be hit in the only two places that matter to them: Their egos and the ballot box. They need to be SHAMED as public officials. I am certain the national media such as Fox News and CNN would eat this up. (I would hope both liberals and conservatives could agree on this.) The lawsuit would make sure it was a continuing story. (Note to self: Call John Oliver’s show on HBO and see if their writing staff would volunteer to write the commercials. They are off season right now. Their comedic/brutal treatment of issues like this just what… Read more »

Robert S Mullen
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Robert S Mullen

Just the fact that he threatened any of his students not to video tape what he was doing is an admission of guilt. He new he was doing something wrong. He needs to be punished. The trauma he has caused to some of the students that had to watch this is irreversible . Does anyone think there might be a link to the school shootings and violence and the kind of shit this teacher is teaching these kids? Also, this teacher does not know what killed the chickens. It could have been a Bobcat.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Why would anyone need to “teach” this to young people? Supposedly, the teacher, who had been defended by school admin, has retired. I’m not sure I believe this. I can only imagine what these poor creatures went through and what kind of sick individual would consider this a teachable moment!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Charge this torturer who seems to enjoy what he did.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

That son of a bitch. I wish I could get my hands on him. Is that a threat? You’re dam straight it is.

Blake
Guest
Blake

I’d like to see how he would like being drowned. But do it slowly. Bring him close to death and revive him. Do it 20 or 30 times until his heart finally gives out.
I’d have no problem watching that!!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Why is no one expressing dismay at the lack of intervention by the students. If my child stood there and let this happen without doing everything in her power to stop it I would be ashamed.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

This is how we get serial killers ,they start out small with animals .This man is teaching wrong on many levels .Our children are growing learning .This could have triggered something we don’t need our children subjected to .This man could get some kind of a sastifaction out of .Killing ,torture of animals is the first step to murder of humans .This poor animal dnt do anything wrong .Human society places laws for a reason .Mr state da of Florida you of all people should know what I have just stated ! Now get research do your job !

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

This crime is one of child and animal abuse. It teaches children that it’s oerfectly ok to kill animals. We have enough gratuitous killing going on in our world. Children should be taught to care, not kill, kindness rather than harming and killing.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I used this horrible incident as a teaching moment for my kids that if they were ever in this situation as students or bystanders to stand up and fight for animals/people whatever that were being abused/tortured. This jerk deserves a stiff fine, jail time and mandatory mental health treatment

Christine vercellino
Guest
Christine vercellino

Yes this person deserves to be prosecuted with the mamimum penalty. Hopefully this will be a felony punishment, Not a slap on the wrist. He was showing these children how to kill animals, and this is,atrocious.

Judy Sugita
Guest
Judy Sugita

It is unbelievable that this sick sadist actually had his students watch as he tortured these innocent animals to death. I am hopeful that he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

So instead of building a pest resistant chicken coop, you have an enclosure that entices predators, then you capture them a trap and torture them by slowly drowning them. Nothing the teacher did was preventive or a deterrent, he didn’t block predators and torturing them to death I only teaches cruelty to animals that are unable to defend them themselves or fun away.

Andrew Monak
Guest
Andrew Monak

The Florida Statute is clear, the videotaped evidence is irrefutable. Lock up this SADISTIC BASTARD!

Judy
Guest
Judy

Kindness, and cruelty, are TAUGHT! This educator, a supposed “man of faith” chose to teach CRUELTY! As such, he should be prosecuted, for animal abuse, torture and cruelty, at the minimum. Drowning, according to the AVMA, is NEVER euthanasia, and is cruel and inhumane.

Maggie Thorpe
Guest
Maggie Thorpe

Perhaps he should be ‘humanely euthanised’

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Perhaps he should be “humanely euthanised”

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

What he did was sadistic and should therefore be illegal.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Why not in jail? So sick. Not fired? Outrageous.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Really sick and to make kids watch this-unbelievable!!!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I hope someone abducts that son of a bitch and does the same to him.

Russell Muir
Guest
Russell Muir

Sadistic ‘teacher ‘drowns 3 innocent animals on the implausibly weak pretext and vague reason that they are nuisance animals,which deserve to be publicly drowned,rather like suspected witches in the medieval era.Got a feeling This scumbag derived a lot of enjoyment from this despicable act of cruelty.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

What is the “FWC” and how do you apply pressure for them to prosecute? I’m guessing Florida Wildlife Commission but that’s just a shot in the dark.