Sometimes it’s scary, but we need to catch whoever did this and prevent a potential human murder. I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about. You might even be thinking that I’m going too far when talking about coyote pups.
In Illinois, Cook County Forest Preserve Police discovered six drowned coyote pups, approximately two weeks old, in a bag in a container at the Spring Creek Valley Forest Preserve in northwest suburban Barrington, Illinois.
A seventh pup somehow survived. This miracle animal is now in stable condition, though the pup’s leg was determined by X-ray to be completely shattered. Veterinarians are hoping to save the leg at the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation facility. Even if the pup does live, and even if the leg is saved, it’s unlikely the pup can ever be released back into the wild.
Cook County Forest Preserve police and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are investigating this matter.
Whoever did this could possibly face animal cruelty charges (at least I would hope so!).
If you live in the area and have any information, you are asked to call the Department of Natural Resources tip line at 877-2DNRLAW (877-236-7529).
Now, why did I begin the story this way? “The Link” is a term experts use to describe the known—and now undeniable—link of heinous animal cruelty to violence toward people. If a person abuses animals, it’s likely that person will, at some point, be guilty of child or spousal abuse, and/or another violent crime toward people. Aside from the fact that animal abuse is cruel, “the Link” is why we need to find animal abusers and be sure they are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Just as we feel pain, so do the animals being abused, including this baby coyote. Animal abuse is a serious crime.
I support tougher animal abuse laws and animal abuse laws that are taken seriously by the courts. In the Chicago area, Safe Humane Chicago has volunteer court watchers who speak up for abused animals, holding the courts responsible. It’s a brilliant idea.
A new law went into effect last summer in Ohio that made a first-offense pet cruelty a felony. Goddard’s Law, or House Bill 60, was signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich on June 13, 2016.
In Ohio, it is a fifth-degree felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal, punishable by six months to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. This includes depriving a pet of food, water, or shelter or inflicting long-term pain. Additionally, the law imposes mandatory time in prison for assaulting a police dog, police horse, or service animal.
The law also requires state officials to develop resources to help veterinarians identify situations where owners use their pets to get opioids.
A second conviction is a Class C Felony with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or an additional 1.5 years imprisonment.
Animal cruelty takes on many forms. Isn’t operating a puppy mill animal cruelty? I say it obviously is, yet there are repeat offenders.
So, while I support tougher laws, the problem is that you can have all the laws you want on the books, but if they aren’t enforced and/or prosecuted, it doesn’t matter. Only public pressure on law enforcement and the court system can help to evolve animal cruelty laws to where they should be, not only saving animals, but also people.