Being cruel to animals takes a lot of courage (uh, no)

Earlier this week Daily Local News cop reporter Michael Price (mprice@journalregister.com)  wrote about a severely injured pit bull that was found in a roadside ravine near Brandywine Hospital.

The pit bill — later named Radar — was basically left to die and had apparently been a victim of dog fighting. Thankfully, Radar is now expected to make a full recovery at the Chester County SPCA, officials said in a press conference Thursday.

Today in the newsroom we had a short albeit lively discussion on why people react stronger over the abuse or death of a pet versus the same of a human. And I think most people would agree that that is the case.

Unfortunately we couldn’t give a good reason why other than it’s our nature to feel more compassion for a helpless animal versus a person, unless of course, it’s an infant and tiny child who also fall into the category of helpless.

Personally, I will never understand the psyche of anyone who commits these horrific acts against animals or the helpless human beings. Why do gangs of young teens feel it’s OK to bash an elderly war veteran? Why does a man take a tiny infant and slam its head into a wall or onto a floor? And of course, how can someone be cruel to an animal like a dog or cat?

People will say, “Oh, they are animals themselves.” Of course, that’s true. No one with normal senses could or would commit such acts of depravity. And I will admit I fall into that category of people who could never treat a dog or cat that way. When it comes to my own two dogs, I am a softy. In fact, our latest adopted SPCA pooch is still less than perfect with her house training. And yet I feel guilty after yelling at her.

In this latest case of animal cruelty in Chester County, SPCA spokesperson Rich Britton, along with two Animal Protection Services officers, spoke to members of the press to detail the story of Radar. APS officers Craig Baxter and Cheryl Shaw renamed the abandoned dog after they felt he was silently reaching out, asking them to help him and others that may be falling victim to dog fighting in the area.

Despite his terrifying ordeal and painful injuries, Radar seemed to be in good spirits Thursday as he played fetch outside of the SPCA, posing for news cameras and offering playful kisses while accepting loving hugs from officer Shaw. And that’s the beauty of animals. All they ask for and/or want from us is the return of the love they give us.

SPCA officials say they hope Radar will become the face of a new initiative to raise awareness of dog fighting in the area, urging those who know about it not to hesitate to reach out to authorities.

The SPCA is encouraging area residents to be on the lookout for signs of local dogfighting, which can include a high number of pit bulls in one area, typically dogs that are chained separately and seem unsocialized. Other signs include heavy scarring to the face and legs.

Dog fighting is viewed as a serious offense in the eyes of the law, considered a third degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine, per count.

Authorities at the SPCA expect Radar to make a full recovery from his injuries. He now faces mandatory six-month quarantine due to the bites he sustained from an unknown dog, but officials say they are certain that Radar will eventually be adopted into a permanent home.

Meanwhile, the people responsible are still out there. What will it take for someone to turn them in? Money? If so, I will be the first to say a reward is necessary and should be started immediately. And judging from the comments on Michael Price’s story, the punishments people have in mind for the offenders wouldn’t be pleasant. I would be satisfied to just see them arrested and jailed for a long, long time.

— Andy Hachadorian

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About fromtheeditorchair

I am the editor of the Daily Local News.
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