Over 90,000 people have signed a petition in the last two days calling for the UK government to set up an animal cruelty register.
It follows the worst case of animal cruelty reported by the RSPCA, whereby a chihuahua called Chunky was stolen from his home in East Kent by four youths and tortured for hours before being left at a rubbish dump.
Chunky was beaten, drugged, burned and had his leg and neck broken before the teens, who were also on drugs at the time, left him for dead. Miraculously, he was discovered by a passer-by and following treatment he has made a remarkable recovery and he is now reunited with his owner. However, given his young age (under a year) and horrendously traumatic experience, Chunky is expected to live his life as an anxious dog.
“[…] It is a miracle he survived. I will never forget how terrified and depressed he was when I first saw him. The injuries were so severe that despite the fantastic veterinary care and medication he was on, the medication was unable to numb all of the pain, and he suffered for at least six days according to veterinary experts.
Thankfully, he has now been restored to health and returned to his loving owners, though I fear he will always be timid and nervous as a result of his ordeal, and imagine the owners will never quite be able to come to terms with what was senseless and needlessly inflicted on their beautiful family pet.” ~ Caroline Doe, RSPCA Inspector
So severe was the case, it has prompted PETA to launch an education campaign in the county. However, despite the horrific nature of their crime, the youths in question were merely sentenced to a ban on animal ownership for five years.
One animal lover was so outraged by this outcome that she started a petition on change.org for a lifetime ban and a register of convicted animal abusers. Launched on Tuesday—and with Twitter supporters tweeting #JusticeforChunky—the petition is now just 10,000 short of its 100,000 signature goal in order to force a debate in parliament. At the rate of signatures ‘penned’ this evening, it looks sure to surpass its target and is yet another example of how social media can be used for good.
The petition’s initiator, Maxine Berry, says:
“Please give chunky the justice he deserves. What I’m asking for is that anyone who abuses animals, regardless of their age should never be allowed to own an animal again. These offenders should then be placed on a Animal Cruelty Register, which would follow them around for life. Animal abuse is serious, and the laws must change.”
If you agree, you can add your support by signing the petition here.
Author: Hilda Carroll
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Photo: YouTube still