I hope referring to a person of Polish descent as a "Pole" is not distasteful or hurtful. I grew up with them in our largely Slovak neighborhood and always looked upon them as ethnic "cousins" since we are both Slavs and our European homelands touch each other.
This week- two events I read about inspired the title of three men with a Polish background. Of course, the nationality could vary, and I'm sure we can find men or women like this in any nationality- sharing the same heritage and being very different from each other. I am glad that I found two of these 3 men with ties to Poland very special and compassionate. Sadly, the third was c ompletely lacking in it.
The first man I read about was in an Animal Legal Defense
newsletter. His name is Joseph Losinski. The name indicates
to me that he had some Polish background if not all. He was
the neighbor of two young people who had the misfortune to buy
a house in Colorado next to his.
Tesla and Travis Dougherty, newlyweds, brought their two pups,
Kyera and Dozer Boy with them. One day in August 2011 the
unimaginable happened. Tesla found her dogs dying in their own
yard -20 minutes after being let outside to play.
Kyera, the German Shepherd even tried to comfort her as she
struggled against the poison coursing through her body. Dozer
Boy also died that terrible day from the same le thal dose of
poison flooding through his innocent body.
Informing the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Doughertys were
consoled that these outraged lawyers would try to help them find
justice for Kyera and Dozer Boy.
These newlyweds could not have known that they had moved next
door to 73-year-old Joseph Losinski, who became their worst
nightmare. Had they known that Losinski had previously been
accused of poisoning animals when he lived in Minnesota, they
probably would have decided to look elsewhere for a home.
Certainly, they would have been more careful about monitoring
their dogs, though I wonder if it is possible to do this constantly.
When I let my dogs out in my enclosed yard, I believed they would
be safe and didn't need monitoring, and of course, I was right.
Who thinks that their neighbors could be monsters?
Sadly, if the seller had known about this cruel man's hatred of
dogs and animals, he should have either warned the couple of this
or sought other prospective buyers who didn't own animals. Whether
the seller was aware of this cruel man's propensity is not revealed,
but if he had been- then he is sadly complicit in the cruel deaths
of Kyera and Dozer Boy.
Back in Minnesota, according to media reports, the neighbor who
filed a restraining order against Losinski for using poisoned meat
to kill animals on his property -later reported his cat missing
soon after he had filed charges of harassment. I shivered reading
this. It seems you do the right thing, and then have to suffer
for doing so.
This man should have been locked up in a Minnesota jail, but sadly -
for far too long in the US, the state courts were not too concerned
about animal cruelty. I remember in Ohio a number of years ago when
a farmer got off with $100 fine for euthanizing sick hogs by hanging
them. Those hogs could have been put down more humanely. This
judge was callous and uncaring -a reflection of how animal cruelty
cases were dismissed usually with only a slap on the wrist. Things
have been inproving in this regard because of efforts by animal
right groups like the Animal Legal Defense Fund and caring people.
ALDF lawyers did find evidence of what Losinski had done, and he
was convicted for feeding Kyera and Dozer boy styrchnine- laced
meat. With his conviction, Losinski began a campaign of terror
against the Doughertys and several other neighbors.
Frightening. Another indication that people who are cruel to
animals easily transfer that cruelty to people as well. How
would you or I like to live near such an insensitive man as this-
bereft of compassion for animal life and even capable of doing
harm to those who accuse him? But thank God, before he could
actually do more harm, with his guilty plea to charges of felony
aggravated animal cruelty and intimidating a witness - he soon
would be gone and out of their lives.
It was so good to read that he received a felony conviction when
for so long in the US generally, animal cruelty was looked upon
as a misdemeanor. Still though, in Losinski's case, the greater
penalty and longer prison term was for intimidating a witness
rather than for animal cruelty. We still don't get it. Two dogs
dying an excruciating death and their owners devastated by this-
gets a smaller prison term for it than intimidating people.
Losinski was sentenced on an "Alford" plea which is a guilty plea
in which a defendant concedes there is enough evidence to convict,
but still claims his innocence.
He was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison. Everyone hopes
that it will be enough time for him to think about his pitiful life
and his cruelty to innocent animals. Hopefully, he will come out a
ALDF noted that most animal abuse cases do not receive such justice,
but thanx to a diligent judge and the case built by investigators
and prosecutors who were helped by ALDF, the Doughertys and all
those who in any way were threathened by this horrible man were
relieved that he is no longer their neighbor from hell.
CANON STANISLAUS ANDREW CONDON (1936-2012) patron of CCA
I had to do some research on this priest whose headline on his local
Bedfordshire newspaper announced his death as 'Much-loved animal-
loving priest passes away.'
Catholics Concern for Animals (CCA), a compassionate group of
like-minded people which started in England in 1929, contained
the account of Canon Stan in their publication the Ark. This man
of compassion was born in Poland. Initially, his surname puzzled
me as to his ethnicity. It certainly didn't sound Polish, so I
turned to the internet for more help in this regard. There I read:
"Canon Stan was born in Poland and had a hair-raising journey with
his mother to England during the war to join his father who was
serving with the Royal Air force."
Re his surname "Condon," I read that his full name was - Canon
Stanislaus Andrew Denis Condon Bydgoszcz. Obviously, his father
was Polish. Maybe his mother was English and her maiden name had
been Condon. However, I got no clarification there re my supposition.
Anyway, it would seem that he thought it best to use the name
Condon rather than Bydgoszcz for ease of pronunciation. As a
Slav, I'm not even sure that I pronounced it correctly. I'm glad
our Slovak names are easier to tackle by way of pronunciation.
And so, this young man who began life in Poland, later became a
priest in England. He distinguished himself here in many ways-
foremostly by writing a book called "Communicating with God One
Person at a Time."
Obviously, he was a devoted priest, but I loved finding out that
he also had a great sense of humour, loved animals, and conducted
burial ceremonies for childrens' pets.
This is the kind of priest I rarely seem to find in the US re his
love of animals. Of course, there may be some like him, but in my
experience, they are hard to find even among Franciscans who I would
expect to be of this ilk. Personally, I think the Franciscan Sisters
do more to promote St. Francis's love of animals than do the priests.
My friend r ecently received a medal from them accompanied with a
prayer of St. Francis for our Pets.
Canon Condon's sister, Maria Newitt, confirmed his love of animals
and wrote "when he was in Woburn Sands, he had a donkey called
Buster who used to accompany him to the funeral corteges. He was
in love with owls and had chickens and ducks. He was very approachable."
If only his contemporary Pole -Joseph Losinski in America had had
only a tiny bit of Canon Condon's appreciation for God's animal
creation, Kyera and Dozer Boy would still be alive today.
My little thoughts and prayer to Canon Condon - you are a credit
to your family's Polish tree, and a credit to England where you
served its people and its animals in such an exemplary fashion.
May you rest in peace. And may you continue to show your love and
care for all of God's animal creation in heaven by helping us all
to recognize that God does indeed love all His creatures -both
human and animal.
ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER (1904-1991)
When I first became vegetarian, I alway loved reading about fellow
vegetarians, and of course, especially those with name recognition.
Singer was just such a person.
Born in Poland with a Rabbi as a father, he even remembers at the
age of 3 telling his mother when they were in the market place,
that he heard a pig crying because they were beating him. So
sensitive at this early age.
The Singers left Poland for America when Singer was very young.
As a grown man, he distinguished himself as a writer and even won
the Nobel prize in literature in 1978.
On the internet I found Richard Schwartz' succinct paragraph
where he so well describes this brilliant man of letters and
"He was a staunch vegetarian for his last 35 years. primarily
because of compassion for animals. He was fond of saying that he
was a vegetarian for health reasons - the health of the CHICKEN. He
frequently included vegetarian themes in his stories. In his short
story, "The Slaughterer," he described the anguish that an appointed
slaughterer had trying to reconcile his compassion for animals with
his job of slaughering animals. He (Singer) felt that eating meat
was a denial of all ideals and all religions: "How can we speak
of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its
Well there you have it - three men with ties to Poland. Only one
shamed his parents' native land. The other two - a Catholic priest
and a Jewish Nobel prize winner did both their different religious
persuasions and their ethnic background credit and honor.