Raising a hand to the most vulnerable among us a reprehensible act

Lately, we have been hearing more about animal abuse. Stories and photographs have appeared on the nightly television news, in newspapers and on Facebook. The stories have been heartbreaking.

Some of what has happened to animals, particularly cats and dogs, have been the following:Feb. 5 guest opinion

— Tossed out of moving cars onto the freeway and busy highways

— Tied up and left on the side of the road to die

— Burned with cigarettes

— Kicked and beaten

— Strangled

— Blinded

— Cut all over their bodies

— Noses or ears cut off

— Heads cut off

— Mouths wired shut

— Not fed; left to starve

— Thrown into Dumpsters, tied and gagged

— Arms and legs broken

— Dumped into recycle bins

— Skinned alive

— Blown up

In my view, the laws are not tough enough to convict these perpetrators who do such horrendous things to helpless animals. These are evil people who may in time turn this hatred toward small children. Recently, a woman tied a cat to a table and tortured it for two hours until it died. Her sentence was 30 days. Thirty days! There was no fine, no community service, never told she could not ever own a pet again. This is a disgrace.

There are legal guidelines that must be adhered to and the judges must follow those guidelines, but the laws must be changed. Tougher laws need to be enacted. It takes all of us to write to our state and federal legislators and demand that the laws be changed.

I believe a person who does this to animals should be given a very long sentence, a very heavy fine, a very long period of community service and should never be allowed to have an animal again. Despite the fact that there is a new law in Oregon that it is against the law to abuse animals, is simply not enough. Recently, someone mentioned that perhaps there should be a national animal abuser list as in the case of pedophiles so that they can be tracked. Not such a bad idea.

Americans love their pets. They are part of a family. For some people, particularly the elderly, a cat or dog is the only living thing they have in this world and losing that pet is very difficult to deal with. That pet is their child and their only family.

I think it is time that we no longer tolerate such vicious behavior and turn the tables on those who feel they have the right to torture and kill animals. Please write letters to your state and federal legislators demanding that tougher laws are enacted — statewide and nationally. This has to stop.

In the meantime, those of you who have pets — love them. Remember: They are there for you, will bring you joy and will always love you unconditionally.

Madaline Allen is a West Linn resident

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