JOANNE O'RIORDAN: Animal cruelty hurts. So let’s stop it — now

LATELY I’ve been thinking a lot about stories of cruelty to animals.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got three dogs and a turtle myself.

Since the recession there has a been an increase in abandoned animals and an almighty increase in abused animals.

What kind of person would mistreat an animal? How could anyone be proud of hurting something that cannot defend itself? To my mind, it is the worst kind of human behaviour.

If I caught anyone mistreating animals, I don’t think I could be held responsible for my own actions. But the animal abuser would probably get away scott free, which is the really frustrating thing.

Why should these lowlifes get away with hurting animals? Recently I was watching a programme on the Dublin Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals and the kids on the show heard how an animal abuser was brought up in court, fined, and told they could never own a dog.

But is that really good enough?

Another story that really upset me was when a homeless man’s rabbit got thrown into the River Liffey in Dublin because some youngster thought it would be ‘gas craic’.

Firstly, the guy was homeless, minding his own business and secondly, that rabbit is probably the only thing keeping the homeless man going.

If I ever caught that idiot that did it... well, to be honest, I don’t think my actions should be put into words. Why would some guy think nearly killing a rabbit is hilarious? What was that guy thinking?

And while I’m at it, what about hunting? I’m really sorry if I insult someone who goes out hunting, but can you think about what you are doing for one minute?

You are killing an animal that hasn’t done anything to you and is just going out trying to find food for their family.

I get it that it’s a lifestyle or maybe a job, but please, can you just think about the consequences of your actions? Can you just think about how it will affect other animals around it?

If you go out and hunt — let’s say a deer — can you imagine the deer’s family when it never returns because you have shot it.

I’m not saying let’s ban hunting and I’m not a mother nature nut-job, I’m just trying to get people to see it from another point of view.

If one hunter or animal abuser stops as a result of reading this article, then hopefully, that’s at least one more innocent animal saved.

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