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.