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Animals in Crisis

Story ID:921
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
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Many of you may be receiving some of the wonderful animal internet sites
like Angel Animals and Petwarmers. It is a testimonial to the great love and
affection we have for them. Sadly though, this love is not universal.

While the events I will relate happened in Ohio, our state is not alone
in pet abuse and cruelty to animals. There is an internet site called
Petabuse.com and there each state is profiled by its incidences of cruelty
to animals. I feel anyone who truly loves animals should read not only the
happy stories about them but also the sad and even tragic ones.

Because this case at the time of this writing was not decided, I will refer
to the defendant as the "alledged" animal abuser William Whitlow of Concord,
Ohio. He broke into a home which had a mother cat and her five kittens.
He took one and immersed her in water and then put her in the freezer. The
next one he stomped on and then cut her in half with a knife. The other three
kittens he smashed against the wall while the mother cat must have watched in horror.
She wasn't spared either, and he maced her face. He also found a dog and set his tail on fire.

It seems the judge is having a problem deciding the fate of this cruel, cruel young man.
In my opinion, sick or not, he also needs a long prison sentence behind bars to think
about the horrible sufferings he caused those helpless, innocent animals. Of course,
he needs psychological help as well.

I e-mailed my friends re the next case and asked them if they were the judge what
punishment would they mete out for allowing 20 dogs and 5 horses to slowly starve to
death? I think it is a fair question, though I recognize that judges are required to make
judgments in keeping with the laws of the state, which, in my opinion, are far too lenient
re the actions of the perpetrators. However, some states do have wonderful legislators who
have recognized the need to promote many animal cruelty issues from misdemanor offenses
to felony ones. I don't believe that Ohio is one of these compassionate and caring states.
I belong to Catholic Concern for Animals which was started in England in the 1920's
Recently we in the states have become a US chapter while continuing to receive their
inspirational quarterly magazines. I e-mailed one of them and asked her opinion in this
regard. She unhesitatingly replied that she felt the woman should get 20 years. Some
others who e-mailed me their thoughts as well were understandably emotional and said
she should suffer the same fate she accorded those starving horses and dogs.

I liked the 20- year sentence idea which would almost be a year for each animal who
suffered such a terible, lingering death. But knowing the courts tendency to be sadly lenient
when it comes to crimes against the animals, I hoped that at least the judge would take into
account the number of days it takes for a dog and a horse to die from starvation and multiply
that by the number of dogs and horses who starved. This would yield the number of prison
days she should be made to spend in prison thinking of the cruelty she perpetrated on her
innocent charges.
Her lame excuse--her partner bailed out on her. Did she ever hear of animal rescue
organizations? I thought even humanely putting them down would have been better than the
fate she gave them.

And now the judgment from the court of Wadsworth, Ohio re Pat Wood's arrest on
animal cruelty charges -- 12 DAYS IN PRISON AND 5 YEARS PROBATION!
If that isn't a slap on the wrist, I don't know what is. My English friend called that
more like a holiday and repeated the words of the song - When will they ever learn, when will
they ever learn? The precious lives of 5 horses and 20 dogs was only worth 12 days
in prison.

We have an Ohio judge who is rather innovative in meting out judgments.
A year ago an unwise woman took in kittens promising to try to find good homes
for them. Sadly she found out what so many of us already knew -- that there
just are not that many good homes available. In fact, some of them land into
the hands of abusers and are tortured. So, a word of warning: DO NOT OFFER ANY
UNWANTED PETS FREE TO A GOOD HOME. Charge at least of few dollars, so that
these precious wards will not land into the hands of abusers or animal bunchers.
(A buncher is a person who snaps up free animals to sell to labs or hospitals for

When she became overwhelmed with their care and her kitten "ministry,"
instead of seeking help, she took those sweet innocent and vulnerable kittens
to one of the Metro Parks and just dumped them there to fare on their own --
in the cold without food, water, or shelter on a frosty November night.

Arrested for this cruelty to animals, she admitted to the judge what she did. For
a sentence he gave her a choice -- spend a cold November night in the park
(a park ranger would be nearby for an emergency) or a short jail term. She chose
the night in the park but as I recall, he bailed her out before the night was over.
He showed more compassion than she did with those vulnerable kittens. I'm sorry
I don't remember if any of the kittens survived THEIR night of horror.

The one bright note in all of this is that if you live in Ohio and want to do something for the
animals, write your representative in Columbus to support and co-sponsor Ohio State
Representative Brian G. Williams' (D-Akron) recently introduced HB 613. This bill would
increase penalties for animal cruelty, especially for repeat offenders. Though happy for this
initiative, I think the severity of the offense should be a determining factor as well. However,
it is a good start in the right direction and I am glad that Rep.Williams is trying to address
this much needed area of protecting animals from their "human" predators.
Those of you in other states - if concerned about animal cruelty, why don't you check
on your states laws in this regard. And while you're at it -why not click onto Petabuse.com
and check your own state's record re pet abuse. And, I hope all of us take seriously, Bob
Barber's daily mantra - spay and neuter your pets. I'm sure this too will help alleviate cruelty to our beloved friends.

PLEASE NOTE: Since posting this account, I had occasion to check Petabuse.com re the case of the 5 horses and 20 dogs. I saw that the number given on Cleveland TV was not accurate. However,
the new numbers are still close enough to the original ones entered above, and they are:
5 dead horses; 5 emaciated horses
10 dead dogs; 3 dogs showing the effects
of starvation.

"Pat Wood, 52, of Lodi, entered the pleas to six counts of animal cruelty Monday in Wadsworth Municipal Court. Prosecutors agreed to drop seven other animal cruelty charges. EACH charge carries a MAXIMUM penalty of three months in jail, five years probation and a $750 fine. A sentencing date was not yet set.

Per the TV report I watched --the sentence was 12 days in prison and 5 years probation, which if accurate is certainly in my opinion a miscarriage of justice. I believe our thoughts voiced in the main body of this post are fair and just. Ohio needs to mete out justice for the animal victims - not the cruel perpetrators. I hope you agree.

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