Letter to the Editor: Animal cruelty must end

Sage the cat. Undated | Photo courtesy of China Rose, St. George News

OPINION — It’s hard to imagine the pain and suffering Sage (the cat) endured. Like children and the elderly, animals are among the most vulnerable among us and we have a moral obligation to protect them from harm. Not only was Sage harmed, she was tortured.

Read more: Community holds vigil for cat tortured to death; $47,000 reward offered

Studies over the last 20 years evaluating the relationship between animal abuse, interpersonal abuse, criminal and deviant behavior found that those who perpetrate this kind of “hands-on abuse” are the ones most likely to abuse and torture humans and engage in other criminal behaviors. Make no mistake, the person or persons who perpetrated this heinous assault are likely to have committed other crimes and will likely do so in the future.

And somehow there are those who will dismiss this act of violence believing it is OK to harm outdoor cats. Perhaps because a cat may wander onto their property or they believe cats are responsible for “decimating” bird populations. The reality is that bird populations are declining from human activity due to loss of habitat as well as other actions.

Cases like this and recent incidents of animal cruelty in Washington County should serve as important reminders to all of us that there is no excuse or justification for animal cruelty — ever.

Inflicting pain and suffering on innocent animals is an unconscionable act of violence that is clearly linked to human violence and criminal behavior.

We have a moral obligation to end animal abuse and in doing so we have the opportunity to make our society safer for all of us.

1. Flynn CP. (2011). Examining the links between animal abuse and human violence. “Crime Law Soc Change,” (55), 453-68.

2. Biology and behavior of the cat. Alley Cat Allies, Research Fact Sheet, 2011.

3. The human impact on our environment. Alley Cat Allies, Fast Facts, 2011.

Submitted by JUDITH FIGLO, Hurricane

Letters to the Editor are not the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them.

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Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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  • comments March 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Nonsense, domestics cats kill enormous amounts of birds. Around here they’ve also killed all the lizards around my house. I’ve seen them kill snakes too. All of these WERE beneficial species. A cat is a nuisance animal, and you would be doing wildlife and your cat a service by keeping the thing in the house ALL THE TIME. That said, the extermination or relocation of nuisance animals like cats should be done humanely. If you torture an animal u should be punished harshly.

  • comments March 18, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    We won’t even go into how animal torturers are budding serial killers…

    • mesaman March 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      We won’t because you can’t support your conclusion. Sorry.

      • comments March 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm

        Aren’t you some type of “expert psychologist” or did u basically just show up and put in the time for a gov’t paycheck? since u know it all why don’t you give us your “expert” opinion on the matter?

      • comments March 19, 2017 at 7:38 pm

        Maybe your one of those old farts that think torturing felines is just “boys being boys”. Nolan, at your age your old-timey ways are set in stone. Enjoy that socialist paycheck us taxpayers provide u with every single month.

  • Thadeous March 19, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Feral cats are an invasive species and need to be controlled. They are the no 1 predator that kills without purpose and reason. They are more destructive than any other animal and kill more birds and reptiles than any other animal. I don’t believe any animal should be tortured at all, but letting feral cats run uncontrolled hurts the environment.

  • alchemist March 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Credible peer-reviewed scientific research does not support the claims that feral / community cats kill enormous amounts of birds. That is simply not true. Feral cats are predominantly scavengers and will eat whatever food is easiest to find that will satisfy their needs, e.g, our garbage. When they do hunt, they kill rodents significantly much more often than birds. Hundreds of millions of birds die each year from human activities including collisions with cars and use of pesticides. I agree that we should humanely keep feral cat colonies under control for their benefit and other wild animals. That means continuing to implement TNR “trap-neuter-release” within our community which will eventually to lead smaller and smaller numbers of feral cats. I also agree that keeping your pet cat indoors is safest for them and our wildlife.

    • comments March 20, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Have you ever owned a cat? I had a cat that was such a good bird killer that we eventually put a collar on it that had a bell. I think it saved a lot of birds. TNR is a horrible idea, and unfortunately the very best thing for a feral cat colony is extermination. The life of a feral cat is usually a short miserable one, so it’s best.

      • comments March 20, 2017 at 11:54 am

        It sounds as though you have no actual facts and are just rationalizing to yourself. Cat’s a primarily hunters, not scavengers.

      • comments March 20, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        Just some more details about my old cat and reasons to keep them indoors. The cat is about 15-16 years now and lives with a friend. During his time outdoors he had his leg nearly shot in half by rednecks. He had his head run over by a pickup and broke his jaw badly, and I think he got poisoned once. We put a lot of money into fixing him after each occurrence. It woulda been a lot easier just to keep him indoors. If you love ur cat keep it in the house. End of story.

  • arrowone March 20, 2017 at 6:36 am

    alchemest – 1.4 – 3.7 billion birds such as songbirds and game birds.
    6.9-20.7 billion mammals and reptiles.
    There’s plenty of scientific research that does support the claims.

    • alchemist March 21, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Arrow one – I have searched the literature and have not found any credible scientific data to support your claim. If you provide the sources / links I would be interested in reviewing, thanks.

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