Have you signed Phoenix's Law?
Let’s take for example, the recent incident of the two teens that were involved in setting fire to a 16-week-old Jack Russell Terrier puppy or as many of us may know him as, Phoenix.
According to reports, Phoenix was sprayed with lighter fluid before setting him on fire. He was found on Herman Street on Buffalo's east side by a neighbor. Firefighters wrapped him up in a blanket and brought the puppy to the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital.
Poor Phoenix’s hair was burnt off, his lips were swollen, and he struggled to keep his eyes open. An image I am sure we can all picture in our heads and just makes us cringe in sadness. About 50 percent of Phoenix’s body was burnt. That is so horrible and just heartbreaking.
On Facebook, there have been regular updates on Phoenix’s road to recovery. On Dec. 6, Phoenix had reconstructive surgery and it was posted he was doing very well.
It’s truly amazing how Phoenix’s story has brought a whole community together, but it has also brought to light the sick individuals who do these types of acts. In the news, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said Diondre Brown, 17, admitted he acted as a look-out for Adell Ziegler, 19, the other teen suspect who set fire to the puppy.
Ziegler has been indicted by an Erie County Grand Jury for aggravated cruelty to animals. Brown faces a minimum of five years probation and a maximum of two years in prison when sentenced in January.
Aggravated cruelty to animals is a felony which may not exceed two years, but I just don’t feel like that is enough. If someone can do this to a puppy, they can do it to anyone. If these psychopaths are hurting animals, just think where they will be in a few years. Animal laws should be stricter and those who commit the act should always be punished to the fullest extent, no exceptions.
A petition called Phoenix’s Law is currently underway and is targeting New York State Sen. Andrew Cuomo. Those interested in signing it can visit http://www.thepetitionsite.com/686/536/489/phoenix-law/.
The law would: “make a second offense within five years for animal cruelty under NY CLS Agr. & M. Sec. 353, a Class E felony. The second offense would be punishable the same as an act of aggravated animal cruelty or torture under NY CLS Agr. & M Sec. 353-a, up to two years in prison.
Currently, animal cruelty other than aggravated animal cruelty is punishable as a misdemeanor no matter how many times the perpetrator commits it. Aggravated animal cruelty is defined as "conduct which: (i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner". The statute protects only companion animals. Aggravated animal cruelty, as defined, is difficult to prove.”
The goal is to reach 11,000 signatures. More about the law can be found on the petition site as well as about Phoenix. For those interested in following Phoenix’s recovery and have a Facebook account, just search for “Need Your Prayers for Phoenix.”
Personally, if it were up to me Brown and Ziegler would never see the light of day again. They should be locked away and forgotten about. Let’s be honest we know they are twisted individuals and they will never contribute anything good to our community anyways.