No justification to neglect pets

Published 9:51 am Friday, November 7, 2014

Having to report about adults behaving criminally toward one another can be disheartening enough, but when we have to write about cruelty toward children or animals, it’s heartbreaking.

In the past few months, the public has learned that four residents in Western Tidewater have been found guilty of the charge of cruelty toward their pets. This came to light through the concern and diligent work of two women, Laura R. Brown and Daphna Nachminovitch, both with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Last year in this month, Brown said, she discovered by chance a dog called “Angel” in Franklin that had evidently been suffering from neglect. In addition to being emaciated, the animal was infested with parasites, as well as visibly pregnant. The dog was given up to Brown, but any medical care for “Angel” came much too late, and it had to be euthanized.

Timing again favored Brown and Nachminovitch in early March of this year when they came across a stray dog along the highway they were traveling. Willing and able to take the time to find the animal’s owner, the women not only retrieved the dog, but indeed found the home. Only there they discovered a horror. The animal’s mother, “Peaches,” was not merely chained in the backyard, but the collar had been put on so tight as to cause a wound and infection. That dog was also surrendered, but it too had to be put down.

Sad doesn’t begin to describe either situation.

Why anyone would adopt a dog, cat or any other kind of pet and not take proper care just defies logic and any sense of compassion.

The consolation is that both “Angel” and “Peaches” were rescued from further torment through the two women’s actions. Further, they took legal action to make the public aware of the crimes of the defendants, who now are forbidden from ever owning animals again.

In case you’re wondering, the dog they found on the roadside has a new name and a loving home.

As Brown herself put it, “I’m really glad some measure of justice was served.”

We are too.

To learn more about PETA’s work, you can visit