I’ve often wondered about what it takes for some people to commit acts of cruelty and abuse to a child or an animal. What thoughts go through their minds? Where is their moral compass? Where is their heart?
I can’t imagine the thought process, the lack of any compassion at all for another living being, especially for a defenseless child or animal. I can’t image what it might be like to not feel empathy. I can’t wrap my brain around this concept.
Does something happen in the individual’s past, in their childhood, to wipe compassion from the moral center of their brain? Is it something innate to these individuals?
Maybe we can’t understand the science of these problems and maybe we don’t know enough about psychological make-up of the criminal mind. But what we should all understand is the fact those who commit acts of terrible abuse to children and animals should not be allowed to roam free among the innocent.
Until our legislatures and our criminal justice system across the board better understands this concept, we’ve got a problem. Until the slap on the wrist is not the common punishment for acts of cruelty and torture, we’ll continue to have a problem.
The following four stories illustrate where we are as a society, in the area of protecting animals. The typical punishments matched to the types of criminal acts noted in these stories only sends the message that the system isn’t serious about cruelty to animals. The punishment proves to be nothing more than a slight inconvenience for the guilty.
APP.com: Two people are witnessed throwing two Chihuahuas from a moving car. They are charged with animal cruelty and abandonment. Fortunately, the dogs suffered only minor injuries and have been turned over the local SPCA.
The Southern Illinoisan: A man pled guilty to animal cruelty, for slamming a little puppy to the ground during a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. The 8 to 10-week-old puppy suffered two broken legs and a dislocated hip. Yet the person responsible was sentenced to just 16 days in jail and 24 months probation.
Boston Globe: Animal cruelty charges are posted for two Vermont men charged with excessively shocking calves at a slaughterhouse, which has been shut down because of the abuse there.
And then we have the news of a woman in Kentucky who has turned a case of animal cruelty into the development of a new animal-welfare organization with three missions, as reported by the Courier-Journal – “enable more police officer training in investigating animal cruelty, build a foster care network for abused animals, and educate people on animal care and reporting abuse.”
Kelsey Westbrook witnessed the rescue of a puppy, who had been thrown off a bridge and into the Ohio River. In the Courier-Journal story, Westbrook states Kentucky’s animal-cruelty laws are among the most lenient in the nation.