Let’s get tougher on animal cruelty

Federal wildlife officials are hunting the sicko who shot a pilot whale that beached itself and died on the sands north of Asbury Park last month.
The whale had suffered a slow, agonizing death from starvation after the bullet wound
left it with an infected jaw and it was unable to eat. Experts said it likely took about a month for the creature to succumb.
Under federal law, the culprit could face a $100,000 fine and a year in prison. Now
that’s a suitable penalty.
Unfortunately, and invariably, when some pseudo-human is found guilty in a lower court of a crime against an animal, they get off with a minor penalty, such as a “sentence” of community service. Usually, something like having to work in an animal
shelter. Which is the last place I would put such a person.
The most recent egregious example of this wrist-slap judicial mentality comes from
the Bronx, where 30-year-old Cherika Alvarez, was convicted in August of animal
cruelty for leaving her pet dog to starve to death in her apartment when she was evicted from same.
The animal’s corpse was found six weeks later. Authorities said the dog had tried to
survive on a diet of ketchup packets and garbage, and then wood chips and splintered
plastic. And razor blades.
According to the Daily News, “The pup’s body had no body fat and was so emaciated
that his remains had to be scraped off the floorboards.”
Alvarez appeared for sentencing last month. Her penalty? Twenty days of community
service. And she’s not allowed to own another pet for three years.
Standing before Judge Robert Sackett, she sobbed: “I’m really sorry for what happened. I didn’t mean for it to happen. . . . I learned my lesson. I would never even hurt a cockroach.” (My suspicion is that’s because she’s one herself.)
Until the courts get serious about crimes like this and start handing down jail terms, such wanton cruelty will continue.
Jail is not going to stop it entirely, since some humans can never be deterred from
barbarism. But decent members of society will at least have the satisfaction of knowing
that the punishment will fit the crimes.
— Karen Zautyk
P.S. I have often been accused of liking animals more than I like people. To which, I
plead guilty. Because of people like Cherika Alvarez.

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