The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

Animal Cruelty

Imagine being trapped, stuck in a dark, rattling cage, unable to speak and feeling petrified. That is what many dogs are put through every day. In the movie Legally Blonde 2, Elle Woods, the main character, sees the mother of her beloved dog being used for testing. Elle understands the cruel actions of animal testing and fights to pass Bruiser’s Bill, a law preventing animal testing. Watching the scenes involving animal cruelty is so troubling and horrifying. It inspires me to learn about animal cruelty and spread awareness.

Animals cannot speak up for themselves like humans can, but they have feelings, and can express their pain and suffering by crying and whining just like people. They deserve to be treated more humanely and respectfully. Furthermore, many families consider their pets as a part of their family. Animals are loving, understanding companions, but many people are unaware of how awful many of them are treated. Veterinarian Louis J. Camuti once said, “Never believe that animals suffer less than humans. Pain is the same for them that it is for us. Even worse, because they cannot help themselves.”

Animal cruelty includes poaching, puppy mills, and animal testing. Poaching is illegal hunting or capturing of wild animals. Since 2008, 11,690 rhinos have been killed due to poaching. Poachers kill rhinoceros for their horns. The rhinoceros experience tremendous pain and suffering before their death. Poaching is causing wildlife endangerment and can lead to the extinction of many species.

I was shocked to learn about puppy mills, which supply most of the pet store puppies that people purchase. Puppy mills mass breed dogs to make money. According to the Humane Society, there are about 10,000 puppy mills in the United States and most of them have awful conditions, including cramped and unsanitary living environments, the lack of medical attention and more. I was sad to learn that the mothers of the pups in the mills are killed after they are not able to reproduce anymore.

Some of the ways we can protect dogs at puppy mills are to require more frequent inspections to ensure that the dogs are safe and out of harm’s way. There should also be laws against killing dogs in puppy mills. My aunt’s dog, Luca, was abused and abandoned by his past owner. Fortunately, a good Samaritan found Luca roaming on the street and rescued him. Luca was very lucky to get rescued. Sadly, that is not the case with most abandoned dogs.

Texas currently has some laws that protect animal rights, one being a law that prohibits a person from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly treating an animal cruelly. The law states that torturing an animal, failing to provide food, water, care, or shelter, abandoning it, and more is animal cruelty. The punishments in Texas for animal cruelty include Class A Misdemeanor, State Jail Felony, and Felony of the Third Degree. These forms of punishment are not severe at all compared to sentences for people harming each other. Yet both of the actions result in the harming or killing of a living creature.

If people continue to raise awareness about animal cruelty and show support towards no-kill animal organizations and shelters, animal cruelty will be a lesser problem in the world. Another thing that people can do is foster and adopt animals instead of buying them from pet stores. When we show more care towards animals and each other, the world will become a significantly better place. We need to stand up for animal rights.

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