From Alabama to Virginia – calls to get tough on those who abuse animals

A professor in Alabama has formed a political action committee.

In a story about Dr. Rhonda Parker’s effort posted on, she is quoted as saying –

“Only by coming together and taking a stand for humane treatment of animals will our voices be heard. People from every city in every county in this state need to close ranks and organize to gain political power for animal welfare.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Robin Starr is suggesting it’s time for the state of Virginia to get tough, with harsher penalties for animal cruelty.

She notes – “” Of the 10 people convicted of dogfighting felonies in Virginia in 2009, seven did not have to serve any time and the other three got effective sentences of three, 18, and 24 months respectively. “”

Weak levels of punishment such as those cited by Starr, do nothing to deter criminals from engaging in crime. The old saying is – “If can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Too often within the current criminal justice systems in too many states, “the time” is next to nothing.

So the message from the system has become “There is no time, so keep repeating the crime.” And in the meantime, our streets are being traveled nightly by drunk drivers  – repeat drunk drivers – and our kids are at risk from these and other crimes. And animals will continue to be tortured, abused and neglected.

And the connection between cruelty to animals and the abuse of kids and spouses will continue to grow.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anne Voloshin on August 10, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I want to join Professor Parker’s efforts to form a national group to support her efforts to help stop the abuse of animals.


    • Posted by Tom Grady on August 10, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      And the movement does indeed need to go national. It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I believe animal lovers could ultimately be one of the largest voting blocks in the country.
      The only problem is, there is no real national push to bring everyone together on this central issue.
      But with the numerous stories about animals or animal abuse hitting the wires every day – from puppy mill busts to dog fighting to new legislative efforts – I think now is the time to get the movement going.


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