The Star's report (1/26, Metro) on the two teens charged with assault on a family underscores the reason it is imperative that people take animal abuse cases seriously. As this case demonstrates, violence to animals rarely stops there.
The fact that one of the men charged in the road rage assault has a previous conviction of animal abuse should come as no surprise. Citizens should be outraged at the slap on the wrist he received for tying up a dog and shooting it in the snout. Two years probation and community service is in no way commensurate with such a violent crime.
Without proper intervention, people who abuse animals are more likely than the average citizen to continue their abusive behavior - possibly against other people. Judges in Cass County would do well to remember this case the next time they sentence an animal abuser. Stern penalties for animal abusers - penalties that include jail time, psychological counseling and a ban on contact with animals - are essential for the welfare of both people and animals.
Humane Society of the United States