Beastly behaviour

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas. Publicado en News in English.

What kind of heartless hoodlum would ditch a dog in a dumpster? What beast would stuff a dog, six cats and two kittens into cardboard boxes and abandon them in sweltering heat?

http://www.animalconcerns.org/external.html?www=http%3A//www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Diotte_Kerry/2006/08/06/1721248.html&itemid=200608061046490.396459

Kerry Diotte

Sun, August 6, 2006
  
Beastly behaviour

By Kerry Diotte

What kind of heartless hoodlum would ditch a dog in a dumpster?

What beast would stuff a dog, six cats and two kittens into cardboard boxes and abandon them in sweltering heat?

Who'd be cold-blooded enough to toss kittens and puppies into dumpsters to die?

Apparently, lots of people would do those horrible things, judging from the spate of recent local cruelty cases.

The latest came this past week when a frightened Wheaton terrier-cross was discovered trapped inside a dumpster near 101 Avenue and 121 Street.

There has been a sickening rash of animal abuse cases this summer:

One kitten died and another had to be euthanized after someone bundled them into boxes - along with six cats and a dog - then left the three living packages on the steps of the Edmonton Humane Society.

Earlier this year, five newborn kittens were discovered tossed into the trash downtown. Before that, four kittens were found in a box in a west-end dumpster.

In the winter, eight puppies were also found in a dumpster.

"It's shocking and horrifying," said humane society spokesman Diane Shannon. "And it's happened so many times.

"It's unfathomable that people can treat animals this way."

The shelter has to charge up to $75 to pay for critters' care - when people drop off cats and dogs and such - but you'd think anyone with a heart would find a way to cover that rather than dumping them.

All of this makes you wonder: Who are the real animals?

Psychologist Dr. Paul Sussman is sickened but not surprised by the animal acts.

"We live in a disposable society where we throw away something when it's no longer useful," said Sussman.

Besides these acts being harmful to helpless animals, he points out it's often an indicator of a dangerous human being.

"Abuse of animals when you are a child is a strong predictor of someone becoming a psychopath."

A classic chilling example of that is the case of serial killer/cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. Before torturing and killing 17 humans, he essentially trained for his heinous crimes by torturing and killing animals.

Enforcement officers have shown me gruesome collections of photos including starving dogs with ribs showing, cats with arrows in them, kitties who were maimed with wire cutting into their midsections ...

One solution is laws must change so that an animal's life is recognized as having more value than it has today.

Typically, scumbags who abuse animals wind up getting relatively light fines under provincial and federal laws.

Humane Society Special Const. Carly Grandysh tells how one man was fined $1,500 for leaving his dog in a hot car to die. A guy who beat his dog and broke its leg was fined $1,000 while a man who beat his girlfriend's cat to death got hit with the same fine.

Under Canada's Criminal Code the biggest fine for torturing or killing animals is $2,000 and/or six months in jail and a maximum two-year prohibition on owning critters.

Alberta's Animal Protection Act allows for fines up to $20,000 and no limit on how long a prohibition might be.

The toughest penalties are reserved for killing or wounding cattle - animals that are worth cold, hard cash. You could get up to five years in jail for hurting or killing a cow but only six months for offing a dog or cat.

Like many, Grandysh would like to see laws against cruelty to reflect that critters are living, breathing beings, not just someone's property to use and abuse.

"It's a living thing - it's not a fridge," said Grandysh.

For years there's been a push to toughen the Criminal Code to essentially elevate the value of animals by taking them out of a section lumping them in with property crimes. Those efforts have stalled.

Grandysh would like to see animal laws with more teeth.

"I'd like to see it being easier to prosecute people and have more powers of arrest in these cases as police do.

"I'd also like to see specific judges and prosecutors assigned to deal with our cases. Cases now are moving very slowly."

Until changes such as these are made, there's little doubt we'll continue to see more cases of sick people acting like animals to God's creatures - and getting a slap on the wrist for it.



E-mail Kerry Diotte at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..
Letters to the editor should be sent to Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..