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Just a Thought - We need tougher animal cruelty laws
Lisa Hobbs, new mugshot.jpg

I’d like to say that I’ve never been so disheartened, but that might not be true. I probably have been, but I can’t remember when. 

Announced last week was that the Senate and House have approved the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT Act, which bans abusive behavior including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling and other bodily injury toward non-humans. Violators could face criminal penalties of a fine, a prison term of up to seven years, or both. 

Presidential confirmation is needed. Sign that ASAP, please. 

Crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling…? It’s beyond me why people need a law to tell them that they cannot do those things to an animal. It’s amazingly cruel.

After checking into this new piece of legislation, I found that it expands a previous act. 

The PACT Act expands the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which was passed by Congress in 2010 and made the creation and distribution of animal crushing videos illegal. However, the new act closes a loophole by prohibiting the underlying acts of animal abuse.

It said that some people have a crushing fetish and the original act in 2010 was meant to make videos of those acts illegal. An animal crushing fetish? 

Who could do such a thing and what kind of sick and demented person would get enjoyment by watching it? Maybe serial killers or psychopaths? Anyone capable of treating an animal that way is completely capable of harming another human being. Remember that!

The new law came to my attention just hours after watching a documentary about a man sentenced to 35 years for killing, dismembering with a chainsaw and burying his ex-wife in a tub filled with acid so that they would disintegrate. That occurred in April 2016 in Florida. 

Steven Williams is the sicko. He, according to his own admission due to a plea deal, lured Tricia Todd, 30, to his house by saying their 2-year-old daughter was not feeling well. Once inside the home and as their daughter slept, he killed her and began the process of dismemberment. 

According to Todd’s diary, Williams had poisoned and killed her two dogs when they were together. She didn’t report it. 

Todd’s death was, much like her pets, pre-mediated and cold-blooded. Williams only received 35 years. He wouldn’t let anyone know where her body was without a plea deal that would allow him to see the outside of prison someday, a luxury he shouldn’t have gotten. 

Williams should have gotten the death penalty. However, the family wanted their daughter back. I completely understand that. Never knowing where she was and exactly what happened would be difficult. 

It’s disheartening to me that people like Williams exist and sickos whose fetish is animal torture. We need tougher laws against all that. Fill all those loopholes. Fill them quick. 

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.