I Looked, I Cried, Now I'm Angry

I probably keep up on animal news better than I do on people news, so I saw a link "Pitbull puppy dipped in acid" pretty quickly after the story broke, about a week ago. When I first saw it I asked Sweet Husband, "Sometimes is it OK if you just don't want to know?" "Yup," he said, when he saw what I was looking at.

So, I avoided the story for awhile, even though it continued to get bigger and bigger. There have been protests about perceived inaction by animal control officials and currently a $15,000 reward is being offered for anyone with information that leads to the person who did this.

And then, I saw another link to it today after lunch, and for some reason that I'm not even sure I can explain I decided that I just had to know how bad it really was.

It's really bad. (There are pictures at this link so be prepared.) If it was intentional--and although the evidence strongly tends in that direction, they still aren't sure--a slow, painful death isn't good enough. If this was one of my two, the person who did it would have to start a new life somewhere else under a false name.

But the horribleness of what happened to Mooie (the pup's name) isn't the only thing that made me angry. One of the editorials linked to on the site added fuel to the fire. It said:

And part of it is a tad ridiculous. Web sites? Petitions? Rewards? Flocking to town meetings? Putting the law under such hyper-intense scrutiny? All for ... Mooie?

Even after looking at the heart-wrenching photo of the burned dog, a word comes to mind: perspective.

One wonders where all of the caring in the world goes when violence -- just as ugly and senseless and mean -- strikes people rather than pooches, stirring little more than a fleeting public whimper, if anything at all.

Yes, it's "just a dog" (not my words, obviously). Yes, people are getting hurt in horrific ways every day and they don't get petitions and protests. But does that really make this less awful?

People arguing for tougher animal cruelty laws make arguments along the lines of, "We need tougher animal cruelty laws because people who abuse animals will hurt other people too." I realize that part of that is just rhetoric to get support from people who couldn't care less about animals, and it does add to the list of reasons for tougher laws.

But do we really need more reasons?

Isn't animal abuse inherently wrong enough that we can punish for it without having to always compare or tie it to human consequences?