Letter to the Editor

Animal abusers threaten our safety

To the editor:Kudos to all the authorities who helped secure the arrests of three men allegedly involved with running a dogfighting ring in Dudley, Mo. Let's hope that, if they are convicted, these men are given strict sentences including jail time, counseling and a ban on contact with animals.

As the gruesome details of Michael Vick's dogfighting indictment reveal, dogfighting is heinous cruelty to animals. Dogs are typically kept outdoors on heavy chains 24 hours a day, starved, beaten and taunted into aggression. If they lose a fight, they are often shot, drowned or burned alive.

Anyone capable of such cruelty apparently hasn't grasped the preschool concept of empathy. Animal abusers are cowards who take their issues out on easy victims, and they rarely limit their cruelty to other species. It's no wonder the FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals regularly appears in its records of serial rapists and murderers.

We must work together to get animal abusers off the streets for everyone's safety. For more information on the animal-human cruelty link, visit www.HelpingAnimals.com.

MARTIN MERSEREAU, Supervisor, Cruelty Casework Division, Domestic Animal and Wildlife Rescue and Information Department,People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk, Va.