Animal abusers need punishment

We all know the commercial, the one that makes even the most stone-hearted person cry. “In the Arms of an Angel” plays over images of sad cats and dogs until its singer Sarah McLachlan comes on to talk about animal cruelty and endorse the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals.

The video not only brings me to tears, but reminds me of why I think the worst of people who are mean to animals.

When I first heard about the Michael Vick dog fighting case, it was the first time I had heard about dog fighting at all, and reading about the case still makes me nauseated to this day. Arguably one of the most heinous types of animal cruelty, Vick did horrendous things to those dogs for years and got a measly 23 months in prison.

As humans with the ability to reason, it is our job to treat the creatures around us with respect. I have scrolled through news pages too many times and seen cat-killers given two years of probation or watched videos of abandoned dogs in small yards wasting away to nothing, while their owner only pays a small fine and moves on as if nothing happened.

Torture is torture. Whether it involves helpless people or animals, it is deplorable and deserves punishment to the fullest. California is leading the nation on stricter punishments for people who believe it is acceptable to be cruel to animals, but many times, the sentencing is rather light.

Even in careful environments, such as the film industry, animals sometimes get injured or killed during production. The American Humane Association has awarded its signature “No animal was harmed” on the credits of films guilty of the aforementioned abuse despite the fact that an animal was harmed on set.

Studies have shown evidence of cats being domesticated as far back as 5,300 years, and they have never been deemed a threat to humanity,  so there are absolutely no reason to mutilate, kick or beat them.

There needs to be repercussions for such actions. Someone stealing pets from yards and then torturing them deserves severe punishment. It should be something they fear and not something at which they roll their eyes. Hurting an animal doesn’t make someone powerful — it makes
them cruel.

About Chloe Tokar

Managing Editor

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