Audubon has offered a $775 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who shot and killed this federally protected bird.
SPCA Tampa Bay assisted with an egret killing several weeks ago. The man who allegedly committed the crime said the bird was going after his kitten, and he strangled it.
The other night an alligator was found dead. Its tail was chopped off, its mouth was taped and its head split open. Florida Fish and Game arrested the suspect with an assist from an SPCA Tampa Bay humane officer.
The same SPCA officer went with the Sherriff’s Office and Treasure Island police two weeks ago to recover the body of a Pit Bull found tied to a cement block a mile offshore. Thanks to a grant from the ASPCA in New York, there is a $500 reward for information on that case. Call 727-586-3591, ext. 135.
There are a number of other animal cruelty and abuse cases under investigation in the greater Tampa Bay area, ranging from hoarding to abandonment and worse. And then there is the ongoing surveillances of addresses that are suspected to be involved with dog fighting.
When an animal has been killed in a deliberate act of cruelty the suspect is charged with a felony. When the animals can be saved, the charges are less severe.
Misdemeanors with fines, jail time and community service hours. I wish we could catch everyone who, whether out of frustration at a life situation or for any other reason, attacks a helpless creature.
It's ironic that "Be Kind to Animals Week" started Sunday, May 6. In the last month the number of senseless and brutal acts of animal cruelty in our area may have set a new record.
This week is intended as a celebration of the human-animal bond, a show of respect for all living creatures. That includes our own species.
Mankind is, in fact, part of the animal world. Acts of human violence often start with cruelty to animals. The path to increasing acts of violence is well documented. We can all start by reporting suspected cases of abuse, whether the victim has four legs or two.