Mistreatment of animals is a crime

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Animal cruelty may seem petty to some, but according to Alabama law, the mistreatment of an animal can lead to time behind bars.

Earlier this year, after being indicted by a grand jury for dog fighting, an Atmore man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his crimes. Although some may feel the sentence is extreme, to animal rights activists, dog lovers and right-minded people, the sentence may very well seem just.

In the raid that led to the arrest of the man who pleaded guilty in the case, workers with The Humane Society of Escambia County recovered 20 adult dogs and seven puppies from a scene that was clearly used as a dog fighting ring.

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We applaud the person who made the anonymous tip to officials that the illegal activity had been taking place. We also applaud the work of the Atmore Police Department and staff of the HSEC for their work in the investigation and the apprehension of those responsible for the crime.

Through the dedication of workers who pledge to uphold the law for man and beast, the responsible party has been brought to justice. That justice will ensure no animals will be harmed by this man for at least 10 years.

As a member of the community, residents have the responsibility to relay information concerning cruelty, whether to animals or humans, to the proper authorities. Failure to do so would be the same as condoning the practice.

We encourage residents to stay alert and be aware of events that go on in their neighborhoods and in their city. If illegal activity is being conducted reporting it to the proper authorities is the right thing to do. If any suspicious activity is conducted in your neighborhood, reporting it to authorities could save the life of another human or animal or prevent the lose or damage to property owned by your neighbors.

As justice is served in case after case of animal cruelty across America, we hope that more attention will be brought to the situations that put defenseless animals in a state of injury and illness so devastating as to cause death. We, as neighbors, have the ability and the responsibility to see that justice is served — for all.