The TBT, one of Tampa Bays news magazines, had a word inserted in its headline: New. The New Untouchables. And that headline was placed over a picture of five animals. Cute ones. Three dogs, two cats. What? No horses?? My personal favorite.
But what was disturbing–and has been for me for awhile–was the article that accompanied it. The article explained how a man whose act of kicking a cat was posted on youtube was arrested and appeared in court. A few years ago, he’d probably been slapped with a fine or given community service (say work in the humane society cleaning cages :)); but today he’s been harassed and, according to the article, faces up to a year in jail.
I love animals–just ask my husband. We’ve had dogs, cats, mice, birds, snakes, horses, and others through the years. I do not think animal abusers should get away with anything. The cleaning out of cages every Saturday for the next few months sounds good. And if the abuse is more than kicking–well, the punishment should be upped! Then there is the fact we’ve all realized lately, that animal abusers can end up being people abusers.
And there’s the problem. You can do more to a person than kick him or her and get off without a fine or any type of punishment. Just ask what goes on with domestic violence. Abusers of wives, husbands, grandparents and children are often out on the street within hours of an arrest or arraignment. Our system is broken, but our hearts–and what has become important in life–is broken more.