AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 4/20/2004 11:03:00 AM ----- BODY: Maine's Priorities - State of Maine animal welfare agents have seized 25 animals from the home of Pembroke's animal control officer. The animals had been living in "extremely filthy conditions," according to those who rescued the animals. A district court judge has given custody of the animals to the state of Maine pending an investigation. Late last month, another district court judge ruled that a woman who killed a foster child in her care can retain parental rights of her four-year-old son. The woman, Sally Ann Schofield, duct-taped five year old Logan Marr to a high chair in the basement. Schofield taped Marr's mouth, asphyxiating the child. One can only imagine the fear and the pain that toddler suffered in her last few hours of life. Alone, in the dark, unable to breathe or move. The woman that tortured and killed Marr is in prison now for manslaugter, but a judge deems her fit for motherhood. In Maine, the state will take custody of animals who are mistreated, but will allow convicted child-killers to retain parental rights. Animal abuse is terrible, and should be treated with seriousness. It's wonderful that the state was able to move in quickly and save the animals in Pembroke that were living in unfit conditions. It's tragic that the state didn't move in to save Logan Marr when it had the chance. Despite evidence that Schofield was abusing Marr, DHS never took action. In fact, DHS discouraged Marr's mother from pursuing the abuse allegations. One week after abuse allegations were made against an animal control officer, the animals were removed from their environment. One month after abuse allegations were made against a foster mother, a child died in that mother's "care" and now that woman has been allowed to retain parental rights for her own child. Where are the state's priorities? --------