Monday, August 26, 2013

Justice for a dog named Justice!

Dear SoupFriends,
Greetings from the SoupMan!
Something happened in Dallas back in the spring of 2012 that shocked the community. A group of young men doused a puppy with lighter fluid and then set the 4-month lab terrier afire. The dog was called Justice and suffered third-degree burns over most of his body. In spite of intensive efforts to save the dog, it died several days later.
There was a huge uproar in the local community. It didn't matter whether you were an animal lover or not. The sense of outrage was felt by everyone. Rewards were posted to try to bring the young men to justice. Slowly but surely the wheels of justice started to turn. The assailants were finally identified, arrests were made and court dates set. 17 long months later we have some closure.
As reported in the Dallas Morning News on Saturday August 24, 2013, the ringleader of the group was sentenced to 5 years in Huntsville prison. Another one of the group received 2 years in jail and the final two men got 15 month jail sentences.  
So what are we to think about all of this. Is a puppy's life more important than a human beings? Not exactly. What I am saying is that how we treat animals can be a 'sign' of the human condition. Clearly these 4 young men crossed the line with their depraved act. And they are paying a heavy price. 5 years in prison for the ringleader is not just a slap on the wrist. I'm grateful that the prosecutor and judge felt it was important to give these men more than just a stern warning and probation.
For me its not about vengeance, its about accountability. We can't just look the other way when things like this happen. As a society we need to send a message out loud and clear that animal abuse is NOT okay. And while I'm no psychologist, I think on a deeper level that bringing these four young men to justice for killing a puppy in this cruel and inhumane way may just one day prevent them from doing something worse. Hopefully these jail sentences will also discourage others from doing anything remotely like this criminal act committed by these 4 young men.
I took no joy in hearing that these 4 young men were finally sentenced for this awful crime. I did not smile when I read that the ringleader received 5 years in Huntsville prison. What I did feel was sadness. Both for a puppy named Justice that suffered a cruel death and for four young men who somehow seem to be on the fast track to no where. We've all made mistakes in life but for these 4 young men, it will be a long time before this mistake fades into the past.
I pray for these young men and I pray for us all. Thankfully we serve a God that believes in redemption. At one time or another in life we all need redemption but for these 4 young men, maybe right now they need it more than most.
May the Lord Bless & Keep You & Yours,
Signed, David Timothy, a.k.a. The SoupMan

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