For everyone’s safety, let’s hope that Abby Toll, who was convicted of cruelty to animals for binding her boyfriend’s dog in packing tape and sticking the animal upside down to a refrigerator, receives the maximum sentence, including jail time, counseling, and a ban on contact with animals (“Toll guilty in Boulder dog-taping case,” 4/13/10).
Animal abusers are cowards who take their issues out on “easy victims”—and their targets often include members of their own species. The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals regularly appears in its records of serial rapists and murderers. The standard diagnostic and treatment manual for conduct disorders also lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion. Experts agree that it is the abuser’s violence—not the victim’s species—that matters.
Treating cruelty to animals with the seriousness it deserves protects us all. To learn more, visit www.HelpingAnimals.com.
Martin Mersereau, Director
Emergency Response Team
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)