Today I read that the FBI is taking a stand on animal cruelty. I say, it’s about time the legal system really got involved in this. Yes, some courts have acted aggressively and given stiff sentences to some animal abusers, but far too many times they get off with just a warning, a fine, or just enough of a slap on the hand to make them snicker at the legal system.
The FBI states that these crimes against animals will now be a Top Tier Felony. They are going to be prosecuted as a “crime against society ” making it a Group A felony equal to arson and murder in the eyes of the law.
For me, because I am an animal activist, of sorts, this is wonderful news. I’m all for throwing the book at them. I also think they deserve to be fined, their property needs to be seized and auctioned off just like the courts do for drug dealers. The money raised could go to towards the vet care and rehabilitation of the animals seized during a raid.
What do I know about the needs of an animal that has been a survivor of some of the abuse I speak of?
First, I deal with dogs. Dogs and horses fall in the top categories for being abused. There are all kinds of abuse. Physical, emotional, sexual, social, they all have a place in this subject. I have dealt with the needs of physical, emotional and social many times. I am a Dog Foster Mom. I take in dogs rescued from puppy mills, rescued from homes that just don’t care, dogs off the street.
My first fosters were a failure before they even became fosters. My first two, I adopted right from the start. Their needs have been great. One, came with bad teeth, mange, frail and underweight. She had sores all over her body because of the mange. And, she was hungry. The other one, so tiny, precisely three pounds, came with fragile bones, and a deformed mouth due to breeding habits. Her parents and grandparents bred repeatedly to get the smallest of the breed that they could.
What were the lasting effects of the abuse they experienced? They both lost most of their teeth by the age of five. Both have re-appearing skin infections. One, still, after ten years, won’t just come to you, when called. She instead, cowers and waits for you to come get her. The other one has a fear of being held. But, we love them and we will keep loving them as much as we possibly can and keep hoping that someday it will have been enough.
My next two were pit bull pups that which were believed to be three months old when they rescued but when examined it was discovered they were nine months of age. They had been a product of a Puppy Mill Breeder, raised in a crate, never even having been outside. They feared putting their little feet down on the ground. They crouched when placed in the grass, picking their feet up like they had boots on for the first time. They had never had a bath or nails clipped.
I got a litter of four pups that had been born at a home in Eastern Washington in the middle of December. They were not what the breeder was looking for and were then thrown out in the cold to fiend for themselves. When they came to me, they could not be caught if turned loose. They hid behind each other and hid their faces trying to disappear.
Another set of three dogs, did the same things. First, I couldn’t even get them out of the crate they came in. When I did, they wouldn’t look at anyone. They were so emotionally distraught it took days to get them to eat anything and they were so matted and dirty they required clipping right down to the skin.
Those are just a few of my cases. There have been many others and just as bad. So you see, I have experience. It has taken anywhere from two weeks to nine months to rehabilitate the dogs. Then, they are put up for adoption. Now, like I said, I am a Foster parent. I volunteer. Many of these dogs are in such severe condition that they spend months in vet care and physical therapy. Many have to have major surgery to save their lives. Some never make it. But all these things cost thousands upon thousands of dollars.
That is why I say, seize the abusers property. Make them pay for the results of their work. Make them pay for the cost of their own incarceration too. After all, keeping a person in prison for who knows how long also costs us all plenty of money.
I called myself an activist in the beginning of this post but I’d like to clarify that I’m not one of those marchers, waving flags, stopping traffic, and possibly in general making a nuisance of myself. I protest quietly, with my words and suggestions. I would love to see some of this implemented in the future. But it will take all of us standing up and speaking for the innocent animals subjected to these abusive treatments by the criminals that leave their poor little lives in shambles, to help enforce the laws that are only now beginning to rectify this deplorable situation. So speak up, if you see it happening, step in, do something. Help save the innocent for they are unable to save themselves.