One Pitbull Torturer Not Up for MVP This Year

I always find it difficult to report on animal cruelty stories.  Some do touch me more deeply than others of course and such was the case with Phoenix, a Pitbull set on fire in Baltimore in 2009.  A crowd of onlookers watched her burn until a heroic police officer arrived to douse the flames.  Tragically, Phoenix was unable to survive, even with compassionate veterinary care funded by kind-hearted donors.  Teen twin brothers were charged with the crime and set to go to trial January 19.

While free on bail, one of the brothers allegedly tried to kill someone.  So after facing animal cruelty and mutilation charges on the 19th, the now 18 year old Travers Johnson “is slated for arraignment Jan. 27 on charges of attempted murder, assault and handgun violations”.

While it is indeed difficult for many of us to hear about animal cruelty stories, the link between violence against animals and violence against humans is well documented.  We must get the courts to take animal abuse seriously.  It only makes it harder when HSUS uses its massive PR machine to whitewash an animal abuser like Michael Vick.  But don’t be fooled – people who torture pets require long-term monitoring in my view.  And by monitoring I mean like the police knocking on your door unannounced periodically to see what the hell you are doing and to make sure you don’t have any pets.  Remember, Vick never “paid his debt to society” for torturing dogs.  He only served time for bankrolling his illegal dogfighting operation.  Just because Wayne Pacelle thinks he should be allowed to have another dog or because he’s good at football doesn’t mean he’s not a candidate for police monitoring to my mind.  Two words:  Travers Johnson.

18 thoughts on “One Pitbull Torturer Not Up for MVP This Year

  1. Interesting – just this morning I was sent this link:

    Suffolk County in Long Island NY is starting the first animal abuse registry.

    “The country is seeing a difference of opinion in the way animals are being treated. Suffolk County, Long Island has created the nation’s first animal abuse registry which will operate much like the lists which track sexual offenders. This online resource requires all convicted animal abusers to register or face prosecution. ”

    Continue reading on Push for animal abuse registry gaining momentum – Dallas Pitbull |

    I am hoping that this is just a starting point and that a national registry will happen in the future.


    1. The downside to a registry like that is that a little old lady who gets over her head with 60 cats and gets busted and charged with cruelty so that they can take the cats from her, now gets registered as an “animal abuser” just like the dog fighter that tortures his dogs. To me they are two very different scenarios, but they would be treated equally in a registry.

      Just like the sex abuse registry doesn’t differentiate between the drunk guy peeing in the bushes at a public park with children present (really bad judgement) and the pedophile who actually sexually abuses a child (deviant who should be locked up).

      I’m not saying a registry like that couldn’t possibly be a good thing, but like the sex abuse registry can cause unnecessary hysteria, I would hate to see an otherwise well meaning person labeled as an “abuser” and put out n front of the public as such.

  2. This is tragic but also a perfect example to hold up for public scrutiny when governing bodies don’t believe us when we say: today it’s animals, tomorrow, it’s people. Thanks for posting.

  3. They are called probation/parole officers, and a good one will drop by any time for a lil’ ol’ warrantless search. No right to privacy.

    Because you are still serving a SENTENCE, just, we decided not to spend the money to lock your sorry ass up while you do it.

    PO’s need to be better-funded and have lighter caseloads, and probation/parole needs to be longer and more intrusive for violent offenders.

  4. “The fact that Vick got prison time and that dogfighting is a felony doesn’t stop them because they reject both as establishment punishment leveled against the disenfranchised, Grim says.”

    From an article about people working with actual dogfighters to change their views and habits. I’m not shocked. Would a conviction and punishment for animal cruelty have helped in this case? Maybe, but odds are that the boy would have come out of jail more violent than he entered.

    I also disagree with the “today animals, tomorrow people” point of view. If that was true, you’d have a lot more people who make violence against animals their job becoming violent offenders. Instead, both seem to be more a function of social class and economic status, or else signs of a serious psychosis.

    Why do you only want to monitor people who torture pets? What about people who torture other animals?

    1. Statistical proof is available that there is a link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, child abuse, and serial killings. A person capable of abusing animals (not just pets, but all animals) has a complete disregard for life in general and this is a clear red flag that that person is capable of harming a human being. Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz and Jeffery Dahmer all began as animal animal abusers. And I believe that the author was speaking generally, so that a person who abuses ANY animal should be monitored, which is absolutely true.

    2. The link between violence towards animals being an indicator of possible violence towards people is well-documented. To the point that in California a law has either been considered or passed, I’m not sure which, for certain professionals like teachers to report animal abuse the same way they would evidence or suspicion of child abuse. It’s that clear.

  5. Hurting animals should be taken seriously on its own account, not because it could “escalate” to hurting humans. I am continuially annoyed by the idea that it is worse to harm a human that it is to harm another animal.

    1. The demonstrated link between animal and human abuse reaches a larger audience – including some lawmakers – than just the animal abuse angle alone. It doesn’t make animal abuse any less heinous, it just gets more people’s attention focused on the issue.

  6. Randy Grim was referring to young amateur dogfighters in the St. Louis area–here’s the whole article–

    Guys like Travers Johnson and his brother spend their whole lives in and out of jail on various charges–it’s a revolving door. That may be a function of social class and economic status, but I’m not convinced animal abuse is. Violence toward the innocent and those who can’t defend themselves occurs at all social and economic levels. And not all the bullies are psychotic. The link between animal abuse and private, domestic violence has been noted so often that it’s almost a given. Not surprising that there might also be a link between public animal abuse (Phenix was set on fire in the street in plain view) and public violence toward people.

  7. Wayne Pacelle is a douchebag. All he cares about is how much publicity he’s going to get out of this. By openly praising that dog killer he’s telling people it’s okay, as long as you serve some time and have plenty of money you will be forgiven. I don’t know who makes me more sick, Pacelle or that dog killer.

  8. Thank you for this post. I agree it is confirmed the link between animal cruelty and violence against people. This is just another example.

  9. TRUE animal abuse/cruelty is real, a felony and punishable.
    Vick is allowed to have a dog when his probation period is over even though he was convicted of a felony. Pacelle thinks he has been punished enough; maybe Pacelle knows something we don’t; that case never went to trial now was it?

    Time and time again people are accused for animal abuse/cruelty and there wasn’t any but the DA went for a win. Often there is no conviction and the people loose their animals anyway.

    What about the damn rescuers who euthanize healthy animals who said they weren’t adoptable? I consider that just as bad and these are government employees.
    I don’t know many people who will adopt from a shelter after some of the horror stories, even a no kill.

    If your point is for a registry then go for felonies as it seems the misdemeanors are the little old ladies who were scared out of their wits end, had no money for defense AND no more are they violent criminals than you are. Frankly, they were likely doing a good job and some ‘do-good-er’ decided they have to many animals even if no law was actually broken. She’s not innocent until proven guilty; the mere act of seizing makes her guilty.

    Texas has been home to Animal Cops and the HSPCA has received big bucks for playing their part is making the series. I was horrified at some of the things they were calling animal abuse; you’d think Houston was home of animal abusers.

    I don’t believe the laws were written about tartar on teeth or nails that are too long. Maybe we start poking our nose into vegans lives and how they are feeding their children a potentially harmful diet that can leave permanent damage. Of course there’s the mom stretching her food stamps to keep her family fed who has no idea this could be potentially dangerous and gets run over as a child abuser as well.

    I hate when people are so quick to jump to conclusions over things NOT proven unless you buy into AR rhetoric.

    Ohio, Missouri, Texas to name a few are under attack by these AR extremist who have stated that if you own an animal, it means you are and animal abuser.
    Animal law is very complicated and deals with a number of issues. Animals have no rights folks but it IS our responsibility to watch out for their welfare.

    If you expect people to buy into what you have to say on this blog then expand your knowledge with more than animal abusers are violent people. You need to preference your statement as the animal rights people are hoping that you won’t do.

    Just like that little old lady is not necessarily a ‘hoarder’ even though she was called one. And certainly not all breeders are puppy mills, least any of us assume that if you breed one dog you have a puppy mill.
    Think the facts through before you take a stand.

    Am I horrified by the actions of these twins?
    You bet I am, they are animal abusers and obviously violent. This is an atrocious case of animal cruelty that can’t be denied, a felony, I hope are jailed for a long long time and they throw away the key.

  10. Psychopaths such as mike vick will never be rehabilitated.His brain was sick from the beginning.i read the story of the little red dog he beat to death and I know he is a disgusting and evil entity.Thank God for people like Bill Pashke who know the truth and tell it like it is.The NFL is a garbage organization for ever hiring this sob.

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