Anthony Rawson was all smiles in a January photo taken just after he adopted a female Beagle from the Licking County Humane Society.
However, only three months later, Capital Area Humane Agent Kerry Manion stated they were called to his apartment in east Columbus, Ohio, after a social worker received complaints about sounds of an animal in pain coming from his room, 10TV reports.
Humane Agent Manion described, “The dog couldn't walk. It had a fractured spine (and) it was clearly suffering. The only humane thing to do (was to) alleviate the animal's suffering," There was no choice but to euthanize the Beagle.
Executive Director Lori Carlson of Licking County Humane Society said there were no red flags when Anthony Rawson adopted Treasure, a 1-year-old Beagle. in January, according to the Lancaster Eagle Gazette.
Carlson stated that “Rawson’s references checked out; his landlord vouched for him; his sister even came with him for the adoption.”
But, on April 14, Rawson, 31, was arrested and charged with two counts of prohibition concerning animals by agents of the Capital Area Humane Society. “That means, "No person shall knowingly torture, torment, or needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against a companion animal," Agent Manion explained to 10TV.
Rawson pleaded not guilty on April 16.
Animal Abuse Registry posted on Facebook that the pre-trial hearing for Anthony Rawson is now scheduled for July 8, 2014 at 10:0 a.m. (Case 2014ERB071006). Location: 15C (on the 15th floor.)
“We pulled this animal from a kill shelter to save its life. To have someone injure it and to take its life is just incredibly disturbing,” Lori Carlson of Licking County Humane Society told the Gazette. The Licking County Humane Society website states, “The Humane Society is a no-kill 501(c)3 non-profit organization.”
Carlson stated they got the complaints (Monday) from Franklin County (where Rawson lived). “We’re just absolutely disgusted and outraged….,” she said.
Treasure came to Licking County from a Franklin County pound and there was no indication she had behavior issues, according to Carlson. (Regardless, no “behavior issue” justifies physical abuse.)
The Licking County Humane Society has its own Humane Agent, and its website provides valuable information regarding reporting animal cruelty and what actions can be taken.
Treasure’s sad story exemplifies the need for everyone to be vigilant for any abuse to animals (or to humans) and to report it to the appropriate authorities immediately.
ANIMAL-CRUELTY IS A MISDEMEANOR IN OHIO
It is unfortunate and shocking that in Ohio animal cruelty is only a first-degree misdemeanor, with a maximum of $1,000 fine or six months in jail.
Capital Area Humane Agent Kerry Manion calls the law weak and argues it should be treated as a violent crime punishable as a felony. “The public needs to recognize that when these types of situations occur, that it's a violent act and it should be treated and punished as such.”
Treasure’s suffering and death at the hands of someone this sadistic and cruel should inspire Ohio activists to launch a campaign demanding that lawmakers make animal cruelty a felony. This is absolutely necessary to protect both animals and the humans, including children, who often become the next victims in a proven progression of violent behavior first evidenced in torturing animals. An animal-cruelty conviction should also include a prohibition against owning another animal.
“NO KILL” IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE
This tragedy emphasizes the need to accept that no sheltering agency, no matter how well intentioned, can guarantee that every animal will be saved and that every adoption will be a wonderful, loving “forever” home. Perhaps it is time--in view of Treasure’s death--for those who call themselves “no kill” to accept that it is not always possible to achieve that goal.
This is also an opportunity to reflect and consider changing accusatory references to “kill” shelters and call them “open-admission” shelters, respecting the sad and thankless work done by public employees who rescue, accept and care for all abused, ill, injured and abandoned animals—not just those that are adoptable--and try equally to protect them from suffering and harm.