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Animal Cruelty Cases: What's the Right Punishment?

Recent reports about kittens in a freezer and a dog who took an ax to the face have the Tampa Bay area buzzing about animal cruelty laws. What's your take?

Two high profile incidents of animal abuse have sparked a strong reaction from Patch readers and community members about what should happen to those found guilty of animal cruelty.

In St. Petersburg, a man was accused of wrapping four kittens in sandwich bags and sticking them in his freezer. Three of the kittens are recovering in Largo, while the fourth didn't survive.

And in Bradenton, a dog was found last month walking through a neighborhood after taking an ax or machete to the head and face. Local animal services officials called it the worst case of animal cruelty they had seen out of "hundreds of cases a year."

The pit bull mix, , and several rewards have been offered to help find his attacker, including

Comments on these stories ranged from some readers "rethinking their stance on the death penalty" to calls for the perpetrators to "have the book thrown at them" or to suffer the same fate as the animals.

We want to hear from you, Tampa Bay. What's the appropriate punishment for those found guilty of animal cruelty? Do you think animal cruelty laws should be tougher? Should they be as tough as those that deal with people who harm people, or is that going too far? Post your comments below.

Frank December 10, 2012 at 10:38 PM
From 1 old tired Marine. I would be happy to be on firing squad for these animal abusers. Frank, Palmetto,Fl
Sandi December 13, 2012 at 03:21 PM
ABSOLUTELY! Statistics show that mass murderers usually start with animal abuse and then graduate to fantasies about killing people. Then they act on their fantasies. So, yes to making it a felonie and getting these people on the police radar!
CM December 13, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Quote from Mahatma Ghandi: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." We have to be a "voice" for the "voiceless". For those of us who have loved our furry companions, we view them as family members. Would you tolerate any of these animal abuses if they were done to your family members? Yes, Jeffrey Dahmer started out as an animal abuser when he was a child. Plenty of women in domestic abuse shelters can attest to their family pets being abused right along with them. Why any judge or lawmaker would turn their backs on animal abuse is beyond me. It needs to be treated as if this happened to a human - no slaps on the wrist, no paying of a minimal fine. The death penalty is brought into play for humans why not for animals? Many have spoken very eloquently about what should be done, but will anyone truly take these comments and do something with them? And yes, the vegetarian brings up a good point about factory farming - abuse on another level! If you saw what happened on these farms to all animals, not just dogs and cats, you would be sickened.
Sara Davey December 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM
This is awful. Those poor kittens, and poor Axel. I cannot even imagine what would lead someone to commit these atrocities. It is truly shocking what some people will do to defenceless animals. I believe <a rel="follow" href="http://spana.org/animal-cruelty">animal cruelty</a> laws need to be stricter. No one has a right to do this to any living thing, human or non-human. The worry here is that those who abuse animals often end up abusing humans too – the domino effect.
Danielle Fernandez January 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM
This is just beyond heart breaking,people get a slap on the hand for what they do to the animals it crazy,if you dont like animals, fine dont have them, dont hurt them. They should most definitely do jail time and have a huge fine and donate it to the a.s.p.c.a. They should be charged as if it were a human that they were convicting the crime against. I hope the law changes very soon it breaks my heart.

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