Monday, May 16, 2011

Animal Cruelty: Who Will Cry For The Abuser?

How do you feel when one takes joy in animal cruelty? [Pic]

Why wouldn't I be upset? He killed a cat and bragged about it.

Joseph Carlo Candare, a 21-year old Philippine student tortured and killed a cat and then talked-big about it in his blog. This is what he wrote in April 2009:

"I pulled it on its tail and threw it. Then like some pro wrestler I jumped on it and my feet landed on it's (sic) torso. Slam! Felt good! But the cat didn't die, well not yet,"

For that gruesome act, the Manila court found him guilty (on 12 May 2011). He was to pay a fine of P2,000 (US$46) and do community work for 2 months. Ironically, he is ordered to take care of maltreated or abandoned animals for the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) as punishment. (see news report)

What is considered an appropriate punishment
for animal abusers?

Landmark case

Candare's case is not the first conviction for animal cruelty in the Philippines. Earlier ones involved mass animal abuses, including the transport and sale of dog meat. Nonetheless, this is a landmark case where a person is punished for inflicting cruelty on a single animal.

While Candare may not be a mass animal abuser, he admited that he has killed more than one cat. This is what he wrote:

"I didn't see it die but Myles (his friend) said it coughed up blood or at least something like that.... This isn't the first time I've killed a cat but this time it's different,"

Everyone is responsible for animal abuse. [Pic]

Who is wrong?

His blog post in 2009 outraged the animal lovers community. Online comments were unkind to him, understandably. I was upset initially. But when my concerns shifted from the cats to Candare, I have many other thoughts.

Was Candare born like this or was he a case of misguidance? In any case, he is a psychologically troubled person showing signs of zoosadism. He seems to have drawn extreme pleasure from acts of inflicting cruelty on animals. If left untreated, persons with such emotional disorders may redirect their targets on human beings.

It appears that Candare's behaviors were not a simple case of mischief. When he explained his 'unexplainable' acts in his blog, he seemed to be somewhat disturbed psychologically:

"Now everyone knows I hate cats. It's an unexplainable feeling towards them. Like some internal hatred. I just don't know why but I just cannot overcome my hatred for cats."

Will mutilating little insects an acceptable form of
animal cruelty? Where do you draw the line?

I am not familiar with the relevant laws in the Philippines. If there are no technical difficulties, I think it is more helpful to let Candare receive therapeutical and psychological treatments.

I fail to see how he can become a better person after clearing cat litters for two months. In fact, I am concerned that he might direct his frustrations on those animals under his care. I sure hope that his community work will be carried out under close supervision.

I do not know anything about Candare's childhood. However, psychologists suggest that some of the children who are cruel to animals have witnessed animal or child abuse. They may also have been victims of abuse themselves.

Parent can do much to guide children from young. Not all adults are animal lovers. However, that does not mean that they can afford to let their juniors engage in any acts of cruelty. If you think that pulling out wings of little insects to derive joy is trivial or even amusing, you may be in for something more troublesome. Don't wait till your children exhibit behaviors that defy social norms.

Animal abusers need help too. [Pic]

They need help

I am not writing this to vent my anger on animal abusers. Rather, I hope there is a higher level of awareness that animal abusers need psychological help and not just a straightforward punishment.

Animal abusers usually receive lighter punishment than those who inflict bodily harm on human beings. What is lesser known is that animal abusers are potentially dangerous to people. The law should not be such that they are lightly punished and then let go. They need help.

"It is much easier to show compassions to animals.
They are never wicked." ~Haile Selassie~.

Last month, in a separate incident, a woman killed and mutilated a cat to use as part of an outfit to wear to Lady Gaga concert. She was charged and she was also receiving treatment for psychological illness. (See news report)

The next time you come across an animal abuse case, spare some thoughts for the abuser and his potential human victims as well.

Think compassion.

"Human it is to have compassion on the unhappy." ~Giovanni Boccaccio~

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