Harsher punishment needed for animal abusers

February 17, 2011

An increase in the number of animal cruelty cases in Baltimore has been reported. After reading the article "Testimony in dog-burning case causes interruptions in court" on Phoenix, the pit-bull that was set on fire, it is apparent that there needs to be harsher punishment against animal abuse offenders. Individuals who abuse animals should be severely punished for causing pain and suffering to an innocent animal strictly for their own enjoyment.

As a society, we need to be more supportive of organizations that care for abused animal such as BARCS and the Humane Society, by either donating money, time or materials that the organizations can use to provide care for the growing population of abused and neglected animals.

I feel that in an attempt to deter animal abusers, the penalties should include a monetary fine, time in jail, and, upon release, offenders should perform a minimum of at least two years volunteering their time helping animal abuse organizations. If the offender cannot afford to pay his or her fine, then more community service hours should be ordered so that justice can be served.

Last week, the case of the Johnson brothers, who were accused of setting Phoenix on fire, which led to her death, went to trial. Unfortunately, the result of the trial was a hung jury. I feel that the state is right to retry the Johnson brothers because I believe that they took an innocent animal's life and an example needs to be set to deter other animal abusers.

Danny Rew, Bel Air

The writer is a student at Bel Air High School.

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