Here's a blast from the past for me and my friends, Sue and Barb.
Wade Pilloud graduated with us from Bemidji High School. He was also in my Confirmation class and attended our church. He was also one of the small group of students that I went with on a trip to Germany my Senior year. I didn't know him well, and I don't have any opinions of him that would be of any particular use or interest to the general public.
Wade is the K-12 principal of a school in Indus, MN (close to International Falls) who resigned after being put on administrative leave for shooting two kittens on school grounds. They were orphaned, and Mr. Pilloud says he wanted to prevent them from suffering from a death by starvation.
Anyone who grew up n the country knows that it's not uncommon to find burlap sacks full of drowned kittens or puppies along the road, or to hear of people shooting, gassing, or otherwise "doing in" unwanted animal offspring that they can't or won't care for to "prevent suffering".
It is a common and wholly unremarkable attitude from the time and place that we were raised. The fact that he thought this was the best thing to do is unsurprising to me. The fact that he seemed to think it was natural, acceptable, and right to bring a gun onto school grounds and dispatch the animals himself (rather than call animal control to have them rescued by animal welfare professionals) is also unsurprising to me, as it is a natural outgrowth of the mentality and worldview commonly held by the majority of people in the place and time that we grew up.
I happen to disagree with it, which is perhaps a hint as to why I no longer live in rural Northern Minnesota.
I guess that's all I have to say about that.
[Update: I just heard from an extended family member that her husband was going out to "put down" their ancient family dog, who has stopped eating. She wanted to take the dog to the vet to be put down, but as her husband has recently been laid off, and they don't know when he will get a job, they don't have the funds to do it humanely. So he is going to shoot the dog...the most "humane" alternative. Luckily, her husband is quite competent with firearms, and is unlikely to botch the job. Like I said. Pervasive attitude.]