Opinion Web Exclusive

No excuses for animal cruelty

The argument that people put too much information on the Internet has been made time and time again. Not only are people updating the world with every single thought that crosses their mind, but they will also post pictures of themselves committing illegal acts. People can now be seen taking pictures of themselves being cruel to animals and posting it to the world with no foreshadowing of consequence.

Consequences were not on the mind of Mary Snell and her son Britton Engel from New Mexico when they documented an act of animal cruelty to Snell’s Facebook. Snell asked Engel to take a picture of their new chihuahua puppy, Baby, so that she could post it to Facebook to show her friends how small the puppy was.

It would have been simple to take a picture of Baby next to something of equal size like a shoe or a throw pillow; instead, Snell put the puppy into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Snell was seen smiling as the puppy was horizontal at the bottom of the bag. While the top of the bag was being held open, the puppy did have its little nose tightly pressed into the plastic corner.

Those bags are intended to store food and perishables — not small puppies. If one looks at this picture, it’s easy to see that this position would be very uncomfortable for the puppy. How this idea would even cross someone’s mind is completely beyond me. This is a small, defenseless animal, and this woman’s first thought is to stick it into a freezer bag.

Luckily, a person of sound mind spotted this picture on Snell’s Facebook and contacted the authorities. Snell and Engel are now facing charges for extreme animal cruelty and the puppy is being kept by family members.

According to krqe.com, Snell told officials that she knew it was wrong to put Baby in the Ziploc bag, but she couldn’t figure out how to get the puppy to hold still for the picture any other way.

In this same article, Sergeant Aaron Williamson of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department is said to have spoken with Animal Care Services to figure out how this scenario could have ended for the puppy.

“The young puppy doesn’t have the ability to move its head to get to fresh supply of oxygen,” he said. “The way it was positioned in the bag, (Animal Care Services) said it would’ve only taken a few seconds to cause the puppy to suffocate.”

Unfortunately, animal cruelty is an issue that has been around for a long time and likely will not easily disappear. While posting evidence of animal cruelty online is a new addition, the act itself is not.

Humanesociety.org reports that “dogs — and pit bull-type dogs, in particular — are the most common victims of animal cruelty.”

Although dogs are the most common, cats and other animals are also being abused. Believe it or not, Snell is also not the first person stupid and cruel enough to post evidence of animal cruelty online.

According to nydailynews.com, there have been a few cases of teens abusing animals and posting them online – some of which are very gruesome. There was a teenage boy from Chicago was caught after shooting three neighborhood kittens with a bow and arrow and posting pictures of their mutilated bodies online.

It makes me sick to my stomach to hear how people can show such cruelty to something that is so dependent on human love and support. These people are not small children who are holding an animal a little too tightly — they are adults who need to be punished for their actions.

Fight for the defenseless — fight animal cruelty.

 Opinion columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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