National group demands tougher punishment for accused animal abuser - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

National group demands tougher punishment for accused animal abuser

E-mail George Brown

Today, Scooter is a happy, energetic pup but last month it was a different story.

X-rays show Scooter's broken leg, the result of being beaten by a teenage neighbor.

Ginger Morgan, with the Memphis Humane Society, has been taking care of Scooter since his attack.

"You cannot harm a life, whether it's an animal or human it's worth something," said Morgan. 

Now the National Humane Society is stepping in with a letter to District Attorney General Bill Gibbons which says quote, "I am writing to respectfully ask that you pursue felony animal cruelty charges."

The letter is a response to the charge Gibbons filed against the accused teen, vandalism under five hundred dollars. That charge angered Tennessee Senator Steve Cohen, "Treating it as somewhat of a lesser infraction is sending the wrong message to society and I don't think society approves of it or appreciates it."

Senator Cohen spent six years pushing through a new law making aggravated assault against an animal a felony. Cohen wants that law enforced, "This is a sign, an indicator of what can be real serious crimes against young children, seniors and people with disabilities and it should be dealt with strictly."

The National Humane Society calls the attack, "...particularly disturbing, not only because of the suffering Scooter was forced to endure, but also because of the implications such cruelty holds for the safety of the community at large."

We attempted to get a response from the District Attorney's Office but was never given a formal one. 

Action News Five was told animal cruelty cases can be tough to prove and prosecute.

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