Three years ago in Texas, three young boys kidnapped a neighbor's 5-month-old Pomeranian puppy, named Toby, and took him to an abandoned house. There, they climbed to the top of the building and repeatedly threw this poor pup off the edge, breaking all of his legs. They then strung him upside down BY HIS BROKEN LEGS and proceeded to hit him repeatedly with a wooden board embedded with nails, basically treating this tortured puppy like a piñata. These young monsters then lit his genitals on fire. One of them grabbed a pocketknife and started to cut Toby's throat. It was at this point that this poor, victimized pup died of his wounds.
The boys who committed this terrible murder were 12, 14, and 16 years of age at the time it occurred, and although they were initially arrested and had their day in court, they were sentenced with mercy due to their ages. The prosecutor, whose very job consists of fighting for the victim regardless of what age the perpetrator might be, was the first to tell the media, "They are just children."
Congressman Rahall, I have high respect for you and your views towards animal rights. Being a lover of animals, I am certain that you see the injustice in this case. The law states that animals are mere property; not family, not LIVES, as you, I, and millions of others in our country place them as. To us, they matter as much as our children. As much as our own lives. They search, rescue, protect, comfort, and love. They know joy and suffer heartbreak. They identify with each other, and with us, and show qualities at times that are almost human in its refinement. The law, in this aspect, is very wrong. It is unjust. Inadequate. Unacceptable.
But many of us have hope; hope that an individual who loves animals as we do, and who has the political standing to be able to directly invoke positive change, will finally come to bat for all the innocent animals that have fallen victim to killer kids. The more research and networking that I have started to do of late, the more I see how common an occurrence this actually is. Every day I hear at least two stories of a child/younger person/minor who has abused, mistreated, or killed an innocent animal. Three teens kidnap and decapitate a dog. A group of preteens are caught burning alive two puppies as the pups scream in agony and huddle against each other in fear and excruciating pain. A teenage girl decides (for kicks) to tie several newborn puppies down with bricks and toss them into a river to drown as they scream repeatedly for mercy, and as her brother callously videotapes the entire murders. A couple of youngsters set off firecrackers in a dog's mouth, leaving the dog in complete agony and forced to be euthanized by the kind people who rescued him. A fifteen-year-old girl with a history of weapons and animal abuse charges puts a kitten in an oven and slowly cooks her alive while the poor kitten scratches frantically to get out, screaming in pain. I could continue for hours, filling pages and pages with information on miniature monsters who prey on the innocent.
Toby's murder was not an isolated incident. None of these cases are. There is a pattern. Children are seeing, more and more of late, that there are just minor consequences to abusing and/or killing an animal due to the inadequacy of the law to protect them properly. If you do not fear the consequences, what is to stop you from doing it again and again? According to the FBI files, over 85% of the most notorious killers, including serial killers, always began by torture and slaying of animals as young children. These events were clearly documented, some in great (and gruesome) detail, so it was well known by everyone but yet nothing was done. And alas, society helped shape and create such monsters as Ted Bundy, Sam Berkowitz, and Jeffrey Dhamer, just from failing to see these as warning signs of worse things to come, in addition to lack of justice for the victims. (Yes, animals do count as victims, for they have life and it was ripped from them violently)
By letting these events go with a mere slap on the wrist and a "time out," we are now shaping the next generation of sadists, rapists, and serial killers. If a person, particularly a child, gets any pleasure out of tormenting and innocent animal, this is not something that is going to be "cured" or "helped." It is a deep seeded characteristic, as true and consistent as any personality trait, and it will always reoccur. And rest assured, the vast majority will not stop there. If you like to kill, you like to kill. Eventually they will grow tired of animals, and graduate to people. They were, more than likely, doomed from the very beginning. They need to be constantly watched, given whatever treatment the law will probably insist on humoring them with, but more importantly when they commit these vile acts, they must be locked up, regardless of age. Evil knows no age. As hard as it might be for plenty to admit, children CAN be evil. They can be sadistic. Worry about the victims, not the killers! The victims were innocent, the killers were guilty, plain and simple.
Even without the fact that animal murderers will almost always evolve to victimizing people, that should truly be beside the point in the long run. Animals being victimized, tortured, abused, mistreated, and killed is well enough to call for justice! Life is life, as I am certain you can surely agree! Furniture is property. A car is property. Neither are living, breathing creatures with feelings and emotions. Animals are life, family, cherished by millions. They are not inanimate objects. They are not property. The abuse and/or murder of animals should hold much harsher, stronger sentencing with NO special treatment given to killer children and teens just for lack of age. Believe me, if they are old enough to consciously inflict unnecessary and sadistic pain on an innocent creature, they are also old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. Bad parenting or hard childhoods are of no consequence; plenty of people have grown up in awful conditions and grew up to be wonderful people. It is no excuse. There is no excuse. It is simply this; are you human, or are you a monster hiding inside of a humans body? Lately it seems that there are too many cases of the latter.
Toby's Law is needed in our country, sir. It is widely supported among the American people, both devout animal lovers and "neutral" individuals alike, for even the "neutrals" agree that the statistics supporting killer children is uncanny and cannot be ignored any longer.
Toby's Law would state that no child, minor, or underage person should be given immunity from punishment in the event of causing willful harm, torment, or emotional anguish to any domesticated animal, wild animal, or livestock. The same is to be said for any such action that directly, or indirectly, results in the death of an animal. Incarceration should be required as well as heavy probation, and the individual shall never be allowed to harbor, own, care for, or be alone in the presence of any animal indefinitely.
It would also state that no confidentiality of such child, minor, or underage person be given in any case, regarding such things as the media and public files.
The confidentiality of the identities of many animal murders committed by children and underage people are a frustration to the highest degree for people like me. I deserve to be aware if there is someone living down the street from me, a child for instance, that has a history of abusing and/or killing animals. I have a right to know that there is an immediate possible threat that I need to keep an extra close eye on. The law does it for sex offenders, as they are forced to register. Animal abusers and killers should be required to do the same, which is something else that Toby's Law would entail. This registry would include any minor or underage person, as they will be given no immunity for their actions due to their age. It is time that we start taking younger people and children seriously, for they are not as clueless or innocent as they might act. They are sharper than we give them credit for, and they are fully aware of what they are doing. They need to start becoming responsible for their actions. It is time that our country stops babying the younger generation. Spoiling children never amounted to anything in families, did it? What good will it do as a whole nation? What will that do to the future generation, the people who in the future will be running our country? It is terrifying to consider .....
Please take Toby's Law and show direct support in getting it passed into law, as I believe you are a person who believes in its cause. Although I am distrusting of most politicians due to a tendency towards cynicism, I read your interviews and visit your web page on a daily basis. I believe that the words you speak are the truth, Congressman Rahall. I believe that your love and devotion to animals is as true as my own. People like you are the only hope that the millions who fear for our four-legged family members have to hold on to, the only hope that gives us the light we seek at the end of a seemingly endless dark tunnel. I ask of you, humbly and without shame, to give this the time and and support needed to pass, and in doing so, ensuring that our animal brethren can be given the peace, dignity, and if needed - justice - that they so very much deserve, and currently do not have.
Please be their hero, and ours as well.
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Animals, like humans, suffer emotionally. We must strive to cause them neither physical pain nor emotional anguish. - EXODUS 34:26
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I said in my heart, Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.
For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity.
All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
- ECCLESIASTES 3:18-20
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HOW DIDN'T THEY KNOW?
By Kristen Sharer
When Billy was 6, one fine Easter day,
He received a gift with which he could play.
It was a sweet little bunny with hair to the floor.
What could have happened when it was found dead by the door?
Accidental, they said. Billy's just a child.
He just played too rough. He got a little bit wild.
When Billy was 10 at a neighbor's house.
He poured some bleach on a friendly pet mouse.
Boys will be boys is what they said.
Be careful, they added as they patted his head.
When Billy turned 12 they found some deep cuts.
On the face and the neck of the sweet family mutt.
No harm was done. The dog's not hurt bad.
He didn't mean to do it. He truly feels sad.
When Billy was 16, he took a gun to school.
He fired upon them while calling them fools.
When Billy was finished having his fun.
He smiled at his carnage and lay down his gun.
The town went on weeping all through the trial.
He showed no remorse. He showed not a smile.
What happened, they asked, to a boy so fine?
How could it be, he showed not a sign?
What about me? Said the ghost of the long dead mouse?
And I the rabbit who was found dead in his house?
And the elderly dog with scars that still showed.
Softly whined and wondered,
HOW DIDN'T THEY KNOW?