Writing from the dark side today I am saddened over the disturbing trend of dog burnings going on lately in my Philadelphia area.
The first was a pit bull, named Chloe, who was doused in accelerant and set on fire. The poor animal was given intensive care treatment but died soon after. I can’t imagine how a human being can choose to do such a deplorable and sick thing.
The next was a pitbull puppy named Hercules, who was set ablaze and treated for severe burns to his legs and back and smoke inhalation. Read his road to recovery.
Another pit bull was found wrapped in a blanket and then burned to death. And a yorkie, Prince Wooga Wooga, was found charred and left in the trash to die.
And the violence hasn’t been limited to dogs. A local man recently set a cat on fire and hung it on a fence to die. Due to this recent rise in animal cruelty cases, the Pennsylvania SPCA held a rally July 12th against animal abuse. It was appropriately called, “Justice for Chloe”, and they hope to raise $100,000 for a new program to teach young people about the humane treatment of animals.
Our demented neighbor shot the tail off our dog, Windsor, when I was a teenager simply because he was on his property. I will never forget hearing the gun shot and my dog screaming as he fled home towards us across the road. The vet had to remove the rest of his shattered tail. He forever had a stump.
But Windsor’s story wasn’t over. After that shooting, he was terrified of thunder. In a psychotic frenzy he would break through second floor windows and rip doors off. He even pulled bars off cellar windows to get out. We eventually had to put him down.
It’s known that there is a link between animal cruelty and human cruelty. Abusing an animal is a way for a person to find power or control through the torture of a defenseless victim. Whether that victim is human or animal. Child or adult. Our crazy neighbor also shot at the workers on our roof. We could never prove it. But it proved to us that he aimed his gun at animals and humans.
People abuse animals for the same reasons they abuse people. Some stop with animals, but we know many serious violent offenders have a history of animal abuse in their past, especially as children. How can we know which animal abusers will continue on to commit violent human crimes? We don’t. So they should ALL be taken seriously.
History is full of high-profile examples of animal abusers to human abusers and murderers.
- Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers at a post office and then shot himself, had stolen local pets and set his own dog to attack them.
- Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped and mutilated a 7-year-old boy, was known for putting firecrackers in dogs rectums and stringing up cats.
- Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a San Diego school, killing two children and injuring nine others, had set the tails of dogs and cats on fire.
- Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler” who killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in crates and shot arrows through the boxes as a young boy.
- Carroll Edward Cole, executed for five of the 35 murders of which he was accused, noted his first violent act was to strangle a puppy.
- Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had impaled dogs heads, frogs, and cats on sticks.
Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals to their friends. And there are many other similar incidents.
What can you do? Anyone with information about recent animal abuse cases or additional incidents of animal abuse can call the SPCA anti-cruelty hotline at 1-866-601-SPCA.
Reporting people who harm animals may not only save animal lives but people as well.