LETTER- Keep animals safe

The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA should be lauded for its efforts to strengthen animal abuse laws in Virginia ("Paw-tition: Crowds expected for cat-shooting trial," June 15). For the safety of animals as well as the community as a whole, it is to be hoped that George Seymour, if convicted of cruelty to animals, is punished and ordered to undergo counseling in an effort to prevent his violence from escalating, as animal abusers frequently move on to human prey.

Unfortunately, crimes like this are committed every day against dogs and cats who are left outside alone, even for just a few minutes. Unattended animals have been beaten, shot, set on fire, and had their mouths duct-taped shut for "barking too much." Dogs and cats are also snatched by "bunchers," people who steal animals and sell them to laboratories, or by dogfighters who use them as "bait."

Please, make a resolution today to keep your dog or cat safely indoors and allow them outside only on a leash or in a securely fenced area with you. For more information on safeguarding animals, visit HelpingAnimals.com.

Amber Hodge
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals