Once upon a time in England you would get hung or have your hand chopped off with an axe for stealing an apple. My how times have changed. The very definition of justice and how it is executed appears to have mellowed over the centuries. Maybe it is time to go retro on a few things. More and more many animal welfare advocates are demanding tougher laws against animal abuse as well as much stricter regulations for pet ownership. In Germany, people need licenses and must take classes to own a cat or dog. Maybe other countries should adopt a similar policy. Ownership is expensive in Germany because of their requirements and while it doesn’t prevent animal abuse it can go a long way in reducing the placement of animals in the wrong hands.
The Daily Mail reported about a 27-year old woman named Stacey Lockhurst who denied food and water to her German Shepherd puppy, named Jack, for seven months which lead to the dog’s death. This is obvious animal cruelty and almost pre-meditated murder but Lockhurst will not face any jail time even though her guilt is obvious. Despite visits from the RSPCA when the dog was only 16 weeks old, it was not removed from Lockhurst and placed in foster care where it would have been given a chance for a better life. There have been rumors circulating facebook groups that the RSPCA is indirectly practicing breed discrimination against German Shepherds by NOT rescuing those in distress, thus leaving them to suffer needlessly.
Lockhurst and her 25-year-old boyfriend Paul Brunsden were both tried over the case. Lockhurst has learning difficulties and claims regret which appears to have influenced her sentence. Brunsden received five months in jail and is banned from animal ownership. So far, the death of the puppy appears to have resulted in a wrist slap for Lockhurst. However without a ban on animal ownership nothing prevents her from getting another dog in the future. A follow-up article is being planned to get an account from the RSPCA on the case and why they did not remove Jack sooner. The RSPCA will also be asked to comment on speculations that they are practicing a form of unofficial breed discrimination against German Shepherds.
A facebook group protesting the light sentence received by Lockhurst has already been set up in reaction to her lack or jail time. Others who are unhappy with the RSPCA for their handling of cases like this are redirecting their donations to other UK charities, such as Dogs Trust. The organization began in 1891 and is the UK’s largest dog charity.