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Susie's Law

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Message Suzana Megles

When it comes to good news re the treatment of animals, we who view all animal life as precious because they receive the same God-given life-spirit as we - are appalled at how terribly some people treat them out of just plain meanness.

Alicia Graef posted this news on Care2 this morning. As soon as I spotted the title "Victory! Susie's Law Passes in North Carolina" I clicked it immediately. Many states including mine have only misdemeanor penalties for animal abuse, and of course, this sends the message to animal abusers in states like Ohio not to worry re punishment if caught. I still can't get over that an Ohio judge would fine farm pig abusers a mere $100 fine for mistreating their pigs. Sick adult pigs were hung as a form of euthanasia and sick little piglets were kicked around like footballs. That is sick. We badly need a version of Susie's law in Ohio.

Susie's law was inspired by a puppy who was found in a park last August. Even though she was severely burned, beaten, and left for dead for approximately two weeks, she made a miraculous recovery. I couldn't bring myself to watch her video. Whoever did this to an innocent puppy deserves the severest possible punishment allowed by law. Of course, that is the rub. Our laws in this regard generally are the weakest we have in most states. Her attacker - Lashawn Whitehead - received only PROBATION for animal cruelty and 6-8 months in jail for setting personal property on fire. Something is very wrong here. We place more value on property which can be replaced than on the life of an innocent puppy who feels the same pain we would in the same circumstances.

Now the wonderful news which Susie's sufferings led to. Recently, Governor Beverly Perdue of N. Carolina signed Susie's Law which reclassifies animal cruelty from a Class 1 to a Class H Felony, giving judges the ability to send convicted abusers to jail for up to 10 months. Of course, for most of us - 10 months is hardly enough, but I guess it is a whole lot better than probation. It surely would give cruel persons like Lashawn Whitehead something to think about while incarcerated.

In a related issue - as I had worked for the City of Cleveland before retiring, I was heartened to see a picture of Joe Cimperman who is a Ward Councilman. The caption read that he was backing the efforts of Humane Farming in Ohio. I was much impressed by this action of this son of Slovenia who recently learned the good news of Slovenia's win in S.Africa.

People in Ohio responded and collected the needed signatures to put this measure on the ballot in November. I only hope that people will respond positively in this regard and that Ohio becomes yet another state which wants to give our farm animals breathing space. How could we in the first place lock up these poor animals and deprive them of sunlight and fresh air? Not sure that this measure will provide all their basic needs, but at least it will address some of the horrors related to being caged, crated, and confined.

Yes, and we do need "Susie's law" in Ohio as well for all the perps out there who do unconscionable things to innocent pets and animals in general. I have already wrote about the asinine law we have which forbids rehabilitating wild life. Who makes these bills anyway? And why do our legislators pass them in the first place? I think Ohioans should do a better job in electing legislators to represent them- unless they don't care about animal suffering.

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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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