Community must stand against animal cruelty

Bebe was an 8-year-old hound mix. She was, her owner said, a great hunting dog and family pet. She was a good friend. She was a good mother to Soulja Girl. She didn’t deserve to die the way she did.

Bebe and Soulja girl went missing from a fenced in yard. Soulja returned. Bebe didn’t. She was found dead July 6 in Anahola. It was a gruesome scene. Someone had shot the dog several times. It had been hung from a tree, its tail and paws had been cut off. Pretty sick stuff. Really. Whoever would shoot, then mutilate an animal needs help.

The brutality of the dog’s death left her owner, Britney Dawa, in shock. It left a lot of people upset. And there’s a cry for justice. A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Humane Society of the United States for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in connection to Bebe’s killing.

It would be difficult to imagine anyone on Kauai could be twisted enough to kill a dog in such a manner — except this isn’t the first time a case like this has been reported.

About a year ago, a mixed-breed dog and a pit bull were found hanging from a tree, also in Anahola. In that case, no arrests were made. And it’s unlikely one will be made in Bebe’s killing. Police would need someone who overheard something, perhaps saw something, to step forward. We hope they do, but don’t expect that to happen.

Anyone who would shoot a dog, hang it and mutilate it isn’t going to brag about that to friends or family. And it’s probably not something they would do with others around to witness it. No, such monstrous behavior would be done alone. There is likely little physical evidence that would link someone to this crime.

And that’s too bad. The person who did this should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and every state has animal cruelty laws. While this is an extreme instance of animal cruelty, it’s still far too commonplace in the country, in this world. It can be beating, neglecting and abandoning animals. It can be not giving them food, water or shelter. It can be leaving them tied up or caged 24 hours a day. In Colorado, a man and others recently rescued a dog that had been abandoned with its muzzle taped shut and its legs taped together and dumped on the side of the road. Imagine the deranged person who did that. In another case in South Carolina, a man taped his dog’s muzzle with electrical tape and left it there for two days. Another clearly troubled person who unfortunately owned a dog.

Such violence isn’t left only to pets. Last year on Kauai, an endangered monk seal was clubbed to death as it slept on a beach, a case that has not been solved.

Reports of dogs, cats, horses and other animals being abused surface too often. How someone treats an animal speaks volumes about that person.

We can only guess the people who abuse animals have emotional issues, perhaps they’ve been the subject of violence themselves. They certainly have no respect for animals and likely, little respect for people. But no matter the reason for abusing an animal, there is no excuse. It’s cowardly, gutless and spineless to abuse an animal. It can’t be tolerated under any circumstances.

The Garden Island thanks Britney Dawa for being brave enough to go public with what happened to Bebe.

She did this in hopes someone will come forward with information about what happened to her dog. Let’s support her. We hope this unites our community to stand strong against animal cruelty. Let’s take care of animals, not abuse them.

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