We've read too many of these stories about the torment of animals.
In the latest one, a 20-year-old Windsor Locks man was charged last week with seven counts of cruelty to animals, in this case cats. If he's guilty, he deserves time behind bars.
In another, a so-called animal activist has been convicted of 15 counts of cruelty involving dogs. State Judge John Danaher III deserves high praise for protecting the animals, despite vague state laws that fail to define "proper care."
Animal abuse must be taken more seriously than it has been in Connecticut. Good for Judge Danaher for doing so.
Timothy Olschafskie, who lived with his fiance and her mother, was apparently involved in the brutal deaths of seven cats over several months last year. The arrest warrant said that he eventually admitted to Ms. Seymour that he killed five of the animals. Two were only kittens when they died.
The warrant said in sickening detail that cats were thrown against a wall, door or dresser and that they suffered from blunt force trauma, including fractures and tears to internal organs. They also had flesh torn from their jaws or mouths.
When an animal control officer investigated, she found bloodstains throughout the house and scratches on Mr. Olschafskie's arms consistent with ones that would have been caused by a cat, the warrant said.
Ms. Seymour, according to police, took in rescued cats for 11 years without any problems until Mr. Olschafskie moved in. The arrest warrant said Ms. Seymour took several of the cats to the vets for treatment, telling caregivers that two of them had been injured in a cat fight. The Suffield Veterinary Hospital apparently did not believe the story and called police, starting an investigation.
A case as outrageous as this should be prosecuted. But don't count on it.
Although the legislature has in recent years increased the penalty for animal cruelty offenses, the trouble is getting convictions. Too often prosecutors decide not to prosecute or the defendant is given accelerated rehabilitation.
Prosecutors did take Frederick Acker of Monroe to court, to their credit, and say they will seek jail time for him. Let's hope they succeed. Mr. Acker, who ran the misnamed Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Connecticut, reportedly kept more than 60 dogs in a cold, dark room in an unfinished structure in Bethlehem. One veterinarian testified that he believed some of the smaller dogs were malnourished, in an early stage of hypothermia and might not "survive the night."
Mr. Acker has also been charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly neglecting dogs in a Milford kennel.
Cruelty to animals is a red flag for future violent behavior by perpetrators. And it's simply inhumane. It will continue until it's treated as a serious crime.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun