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A Phoenix Puppy Rises from the Ashes

By       Message Suzana Megles     Permalink

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Today I read a very sad account i n Care 2 - "Puppy Set on Fire
Inspires New Law in New York." Painful to read, thank goodness it
will hopefully lead to harsher penalities for perpetrators of
animal cruelty in New York.  We also hope that other states will 
update their animal cruelty laws as well.   
Animal Legal Defense has rated all the states re the effectiveness
of their animal cruelty laws.  At the time of this writing, New
York rated #38 in animal cruelty concerns.  ALD also noted that
Illinois laws were the toughest and Kentucky's were the weakest.     
In October a 5-month old Jack Russell terrier puppy was hung from
a tree by Dondre Brown, 17, and Adam Zeigler, 19.  They then
doused him with l ighter fluid and set him on fire.  Can you imagine
a more dispicable act perpetrated on a defenseless puppy? I really
loved reading some of the 285 comments on Care2 which were  unsparing
in their denouncement of these two cruel sociopaths. 
One commenter wanted to see these two hung from a tree and doused
with lighter fluid in the same manner they dispensed for the puppy.
His "Jewish" eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth doesn't sound 
half bad to me - though, of course, we know that the gentle, loving
Jesus would never approve.  
I'm glad that their names were printed because it is the next best
thing to having them wear their own scarlet letters saying - I
cruelly lit a defenseless puppy on fire, and watched while he howled
in pain from the lapping tongues of fire.
These two poor excuses for humanity have since been charged with
felony aggravated cruelty to animals.  Can you believe that not so
terribly long ago- scum like this would never even be charged at all,
or at best, only with a weak misdemeanor penalty.  Yes, we finally
are making inroads in treating animal cruelty with the felony charges
they deserve. My God loves all His creatures.  Too bad that many
refuse to believe this, and for them, only man is important in the
scheme of things.
Firefighters called to the scene took the puppy to the Buffalo Small
Animal Hospital. I'm sure they must have been horrified by this  cruel
sight.  How to extricate this tiny burned body without causing
more pain?  Impossible, I'm sure.
Vets performed skin grafts on the third-degree burns covering his
entire body. "Phoenix" is now recovering and his story sparked outrage
from the public.  Offers were made to help pay for his treatment,
and many people want to adopt him. 
And there is wonderful news now on the legislative front. New York's
Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-144) realized that something should be done
and he will be co-sponsoring Phoenix's Law which he plans to introduce
in January.  The legislation will double prison terms for animal
abusers from two to four years and raise fines from $5,000 to $10,000.  
I would like to say that this tragedy is unique, but sadly, it is not.
Months earlier, I learned about two twin teens in Baltimore setting
fire to a harmless pit bull.  I  believe that they may have gotten away
with it because their foolish parents rallied behind them.  If so,
they are just as guilty as  their cruel sons and a court system which
may have failed to bring justice for that poor innocent pit bull who
I believed died from his torture.   
In Missisippi - Doll Stanley, field representative of In Defense of
Animals, also rescued another poor dog who suffered a burning fate
as well.  This poor dog was also named Phoenix and received hospital
care and survived. Thank you Doll and In Defense of Animals for
caring- where so many city officials seem not to.
I have longed hoped that our churches would teach lessons in animal
compassion.  Of course, they don't. I have also hoped that at least
one elementary school year would incorporate lessons in compassion
to animals in their curriculum. They don't. In this regard, I wrote
a  letter to the Superintendent of the Cleveland Schools.  It  brought
no positive results.  As a former teacher, I certainly would have
incorporated lessons in animal compassion as often as I could. Just
how hard is that to do? 
We shouldn't be surprised at hearing acts of cruelty like this since
we do so little to educate children and people alike in our schools
and churches.  It's really up to parents, church leaders,  and school
teachers to incorporate lessons on compassion to animals. Until we do,
don't be surprised by incidences of cruelty like the ones mentioned
It is so sad that so many tragedies have to occur before we do
something about them.  Hopefully, the recent massacre of 26 children
and teachers in Connecticut will finally make us seriously address the
gun issue.  It should have been addressed in the 80's when Brady an
assistant t o then President  President Reagon was shot.  Brady's Law
never was passed if I remember correctly. If it had been, maybe Sandy
Hook would never have happened.
Let's hope that we finally look at the problem of guns more seriously
this time -despite  the NRA's president blaming  everyone and everything
except the easy access of guns to the public.
As the year ends on some sad notes, we can only hope and pray that 2013
will be better for our nation, our people, and our animals.  I still 
can't get over that we are allowing innocent farm animals to be cooped
up in tight cages, crates, and stifling factories.  Will the day ever
come when these places of hell will be dismantled?  If you truly care,
then everyday please join me in praying that they do. I find it so sad
that people have a hard time saying a little prayer for this very
important intention.  How would you like to be cooped up -day in day out
in a cage, crate, or stifling factory barn?   


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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)

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