Heroes and Criminals: Reporting Animal Abuse in 2014

Posted by Shelley Rizzotti, Vice Chair, ALDF-LA on July 3, 2014

Two boys, ages 12 and 17, watched their neighbor from their second story window bludgeon a defenseless cocker spaniel “Mookie” with a pipe-like object. Mookie was confined to a tiny pen with nowhere to escape. The children watched the attack long enough to film it with a cell phone so they would have proof to show authorities—one of the boys being heard to say “I’m sorry, doggie” as the dog cried during the filming. When the abuser initially denied hitting the animal, the children were called heroes for having captured the abuse on video—video that was critical to ensure authorities had evidence to pursue criminal charges against the abuser. Authorities were grateful.

What is the difference in the eyes of the law?

What is the difference in the eyes of the law?

A young woman, in her early 20’s, watched men from the side of a public road rake a living cow across the ground with a piece of heavy machinery that looked like a bulldozer. The animal was unable to stand up, unable to get away. The young woman watched the men hurt the animal and like the boys, filmed it. It was proof that the animal was being abused. Instead of authorities thanking her though, and saying how brave she was to watch the abuse long enough to film it, they were only focused on where she was standing when she filmed the abuse, not that the helpless animal was being abused. Authorities were not grateful. Authorities filed criminal charges against her (that were ultimately dismissed).

Would the young woman have been treated differently if she had been age 5, 10, 17, filming the abuse, instead of an adult? Lauded a hero like the boys if she had been a little girl with bows in her hair crying because the animal was being hurt? Would she have been threatened by the slaughterhouse manager and law enforcement if she was a child and had parents there with her? Would that have made a difference in the way she was treated? Would things have been different if the animal being scraped with the bulldozer was a dog, instead of a cow? Would things have been different if the animal was going to be a pet versus going to be food?

The bottom line is that whether animal abuse is recorded by a child or an adult, an immigrant worker or one undercover—whether the abuse is of a companion animal or an animal in a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), abuse, is abuse, is abuse. Anyone who reports it, especially those who can endure seeing it long enough to film it, and film it long enough to build a case against it (however long that may be), is a hero, not a criminal.

22 thoughts on “Heroes and Criminals: Reporting Animal Abuse in 2014

  1. JULIE DULL says:


    1. I feel “Tick” would be too good for them. What if they turned into the dog or cat or cow? Better then a tick! Then an abusive man would beat them for hours, days, weeks, starving them.

  2. Heartbreakingly, innocent Farm animals are considered garbage and worthless by many Humans because they eat them. This perspective is uneducated and cruel. Authorities need to be educated. And a women needs to get into the White House as president. Women could run this country far better than males who have made this world into an adoration for money, and violence as a way of life. Being loving and caring is much more important in this country than causing pain, suffering and violence to other living beings.

    1. sandra bell says:

      I have noticed that some of the women are worse than some of the men. I agree that the patriarchal paradigm has put us in an unconscionable place, but most all of the women, save a few like Elizabeth Warren, have modeled themselves after men and are as hard and un-nurturing as the good ol’ boys.

    2. We had that chance…Her name is Sarah Palin.

  3. Lisa Clark says:

    I am impressed that the two boys and the young woman acted out of compassion to help defenseless animals. What is striking about the ag gag episode and harassment that the other young woman experienced is the chilling determination of “officials” to vilify and intimidate anyone who could expose their cruelty.

  4. Juanita navarro says:

    Evil among us this people are demons all what they want is destroy innocent animals this people are thirty for blood we need to stop this abuse if we don’t we will be next.

  5. There will be a reckoning for the way humans treat other defenseless beings. I know this..we cant continue to disregard all living beings with out consequence. Shame on us!!!!!!

  6. We have to keep fighting and being and being the voice of all animals!!!!

  7. Lorraine Lennon says:

    tis is so wrong.Animal abuse is what it is.

  8. Suz Rutgerson says:

    OMG I can’t believe this guy was more concerned about whether she was trespassing than the abuse going on. What a dick. Doesn’t anyone possess empathy for other living beings any more?

  9. Tammy Rieser says:

    This video just gets me going. This woman is totally doing the right thing reporting suspected abuse and neglect and the Officer is simply trying to intimidate her. As another person stated – “abuse is abuse” and factory farming and slaughter houses reflect the worse most rogue outlawed hidden types of abuse. The more exposure and the more people are filmed and reported is the way to bring this to light. Ignorance is bliss and we cannot have that. The public needs to be educated about the true atrocities that go on every day.

  10. Lisa says:

    A life is a life!! If there is abuse or neglect, there is shameful and intentional harm!! We cannot be referred to as “being human” without humanity!

    1. Deborah Mitchell says:

      Factory farming is, without a doubt, the most abusive and cruel torture of living, sentient beings, especially the sows in gestation crates. These are animals, not produce you put in a box to grow and reproduce. If “we the people” are not allowed to expose the horrible abuse that occurs daily on factory farms, then the animals have no voice whatsoever. It is too disturbing to even contemplate. Speak up people! Don’t let them silence you when you see an animal (any animal) being abused, neglected, or tortured.

  11. Lori Hessinger Benefiel says:

    Abuse of any animal,poor child was smart enough to film it,something she will never forget,,wake up people,this is getting worse,and in every farm animal should be HAVE 24 hour camera up,a bless these children to wanted to help an animal.take a stand,laws are changing ,May we all be diligent of what goes one ,our children are our change,listen to them before it to late

  12. wendy l williams says:

    Livestock industry is heartless and violence minded. Looks like they know one thing: that what they are doing is so wrong that want it hidden and they fear the effects of transparency and public opinion. I am against Ag Gag law. I do not want my money to be used for violence. I support the humane treatment of all animals. Thank you for all you do for the rights of people and animals.

  13. crystal stewart says:

    when someone is sentenced to death, they are still treated well. last meal dont violate any rights and they are there for murder or whatever. a cow, pig chicken didnt do ANYTHING WRONG and they are still not granted the simplest kindness. the abusers that work at those places are horrible to them simply because they are there. When did it become ok to treat an animal as if their life and what they feel is less important than Ours?

  14. Kimberley Carrizo says:

    What’s the saying? “It is what it is”. Thus, animal abuse IS animal abuse. Why is that so difficult for the authorities in the concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) case to understand? I’m confused by their behavior.

    I applaud the young lady and the two young boys. Any person that can record cruelty for much-needed evidence instead of running to get help or screaming “Stop” has foresight, incredible courage and is a hero.

    Let’s ALL take a cue from these heroes and DO SOMETHING!

  15. Julie Jones says:

    All animals should be protected from abusive behaviours, not only companion animals, farm animals need to be treated humanely and with respect.

  16. Julie Jones says:

    Is there a petition that compassionate people can sign to try and change that stupid interpretation of the law???

  17. Karen says:

    Find me there names and addresses. I will instru t people to do the same to them. They have lost their human rights.

  18. Jacqueline Daly says:

    The best of Karma to the animal advocates. If those who torture animals can sleep through the night it is obvious that they have serious problems with their values. When my time comes I will go knowing that I did no harm and f ought to stop those who did.

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