Dear Next President,
All across the country, millions of animals are beaten, starved, and left to die. Abusers have not been punished properly for the pain they have inflicted to the animals. In 2015 in Connecticut alone, 82% of cases against animal cruelty offenses have either been dismissed, ruled nolle, or seen not guilty. Only 18%, were found guilty. These numbers are outrageous and something needs to be done to protect animals and give them a voice. Connecticut has made an enormous step in the right direction with one dog, one person, one case.
At just the age of 4, Desmond was placed in the New Haven CT animal shelter, and was the happiest, most playful dog you’ve ever seen. He was sent to a smaller shelter, and soon was adopted. Little did the shelter know, the man who adopted Desmond had a prior relationship with the owner of the shelter, which ended badly. The man had violent behavior and only got Desmond to get back at her. About a year later, Desmond’s body was discovered in a bag left at the end of a street. The man admitted to locking Desmond in the bathroom and beating and starving him. In January of 2012 he was charged with felony animal cruelty, to later have his charges expunged in April of 2015. On top of that, he plead not guilty and only went to rehab.
Desmond’s Law was recently passed in Connecticut against animal cruelty. There are several strong changes from past unclear and ineffective laws. For example, the law specifies punishments for the type of abuse inflicted and the person’s intention. People are fined for their first offense and can be imprisoned. There is no free pass for abusers. Additional offenses would be felonies. Animals are clearly defined as brute creatures and birds. In addition to more precise laws, a volunteer with a legal background and knowledge in animal cruelty will be placed in defense of the animal to ensure he’s protected fairly. This discretionary program will be put in place with court supervision so that the court will get additional information resulting in more meaningful results in animal abuse cases.
Animals can feel and care too. They get cold and hot, hungry and full, sad and happy. All creatures have the same traits that humans exhibit. Do you think you wouldn’t be hurt from torture, beatings or confinement? We wouldn’t allow one person to beat or abuse another person, so why are the laws not the same when someone inflicts harm to an animal? There are proper ways to train and treat animals so there is no need for physical harm.
Now you, Next President and the federal government must ensure the safe treatment of animals throughout the country. If this law can be passed and spread across the country to every state, millions of animals will be treated the way they should be and abusers will get the appropriate punishment they deserve. All creatures deserve to be protected and have a voice. We have an obligation to provide every animal with this. Desmond’s Law gives them their voice and protection and that is why it needs to be a national law.