Monday, November 25, 2019. A date to remember, why?
Because President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill called the Prevention Animal Cruelty and Torture Act that for the first time makes acts of animal cruelty a federal crime punishable with fines and up to seven years in prison.
Although many of us thought this was going to be a significant step forward in fighting and punishing acts of animal cruelty, the sad reality is that there are still judges who don’t apply the full extent of the law, making animal cruelty a mockery.
People involved in animal welfare such as rescue groups, shelters, volunteers, vets, animal control agencies and so on, deal with animal cruelty on a daily basis.
All these people tirelessly work days, nights, holidays, in cold and hot weather and risk their lives because they have chosen to be on the side of those who do not have a voice and cannot ask for help.
This requires a lot of love, passion, determination, and commitment.
In order to take a case to court, those who work undercover are forced to witness the most horrific scenes to gather evidence but are unable to intervene to rescue the abused animals.
Others are forced to take pictures and film videos with graphic content just so that an investigation can be initiated.
But often when the case is presented before a judge, the abuser is not punished severely enough and in many cases they abuse again.
Animals get abandoned, starved to death, dragged behind vehicles, drowned alive, buried alive, used in fights, left tethered in cold and hot weather, confined in cages covered in their own urine and feces, burned, shot, punched, stabbed, kicked, set on fire, put in ovens, put in dryers, raped, thrown out of vehicles, mistreated on farms, neglected in zoos, forced to perform in circuses and theme parks, illegally hunted in front of their moms and siblings resulting in families being separated, and much more.
Animal abusers are entitled to be defended in a court of law despite their crimes.
Their attorneys defend them with the most pathetic justifications.
But who speaks for those who don’t have a voice?
If animals could talk in a court of law and they could tell us word for word the abuse they suffered, the neglect they experienced, the pain they sustained, would that make a difference?
Would the crime be taken more seriously because the victim testified firsthand?
Voice For Us truly believes that judges have a duty to take animal cruelty seriously and respect animals’ lives. By handing down lenient sentences they are effectively contributing and condoning the abuse and/or the end of a life. Furthermore, they undermine the efforts of all the people involved to bring the cases to court.
Animal abusers need to know that if they hurt an animal they will pay for it, no matter what the circumstances are.
It would help if part of the sentence required that animal abusers experienced the same suffering they inflicted on their defenseless victims.
Judges, you have the power to be on the voiceless’ side, use it!!!