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Should there be tougher sentences for animal abusers?

02:00 Fri Jan 29 2010
Should there be tougher sentences for animal abusers?

The news this week that two men slaughtered 33 dogs has left many Kiwis wondering what can be done to prevent this kind of animal cruelty.

The SPCA continues to look at prosecuting the perpetrators but National MP Simon Bridges says current penalties not enough to deter animal abusers.

Mr Bridges has called for tougher sentences for people convicted of animal abuse crimes.

The 33 dogs were slain when a neighbourly dispute turned ugly — Russell Mendoza claimed one of Rowan Hargreaves' 39 dogs killed his fox terrier so he and a friend shot 33 of the 39 dogs, many of them pups, at point blank range.

The dogs reportedly screamed in agony and were terrified as the animals around them died.

As one of the injured dogs attempted to bite the rifle the shooter blew its head off, witnesses have said.

Mr Bridges said today the three-year maximum jail sentence for animal cruelty was not enough.

He seeking support for a private member’s bill he is putting in the ballot at Parliament to raise the maximum penalty for wilful ill-treatment of animals to five years' imprisonment.

Do you think there should be tougher sentences for animal abusers? Have your say below. <br/><a href="" target="_new" title="Charges For Dog Massacre">Video: Charges For Dog Massacre</a>

User comments
Mate I dont know what your reading but your missing the main point. No one mentioned anything about killing animals for food, the subject is plain and simple. I have to say that these people committing such an act on [pet] animals, is by far the most disgusting and horrific act to commit. Of course they should be put in jail for a longer period, and the reason I say that is because these people will eventually become murderers one day, if they can do that to [pet] animals then they can do it to any other living thing, Think about.
animals abusers should definitely be given harder punishment equal to human punishment after all animals have feelings a heart, arms, legs, and a life same as humans how would humans like it if apes,and monkeys etc threw humans around and shot them bullets because they had the opportunity to be stupid "humans simply wouldnt like it they would be the first ones to kill them "these helpless animals need all the human support they can get and humans need to understand if the animals could they would definitely protect and look after us humans treat all living things the same way you would like to be treated.
So someone posted a stupid comment that these cruel monsters should do voluntary work for the spca, are you nuts? Why would you even consider that these people go anywhere near animals. They should be given 5yrs or more as punishment and to never own an animal ever again.
We have strict enough penalties the judges just need to enforce them. People that abuse animals should be made to do voluntary work for the SPCA ( under supervision of corse) and not be allowed to own any sort of animal until they can prove they know how.
These little *** (teenage boys) who did this disgusting pathetic act of cruelty should have the same done to them just to see if it hurts and when they find it does kick and punch them harder just because we can, then chuck them in jail for ten years no excuse for nasty evil people to be free they should have been put done at birth. !!!!!!!!
Sure, I think it must be tough sentence for animal cruelty, may be jail no matter of age
Animal cruelty in New zealand (falsely represented as a civilised country) continues and yet we have the usual insult to animal lovers and all decent folk the fact that the 4 youths in question have been referred to Youth Aid. What is the rationale behind this ? Rewarding villains instead of punishing them.No doubt the retinue of do -gooders will argue these wasted spaces should receive the utmost consideration as their only crime was being bored!! These "creatures" should be subjected to the the identical treatment they have inflicted on this poor animal punched, kicked ,revieved , then subjected to a repeat of the treatment finally on a humane note throw them into an enclosure housing the big cats or if they prefer , a selection of the most poisonous snakes . An early permanent exit to scum and a tremendous saving to the tax payer.!!
How about the kids who kicked, punched and threw a puppy through a basketball hoop a couple of days ago? Is referring them to youth aid enough? One of the signs of a future serial killer is animal cruelty. An eye for an eye I say. Then lock em up.
I have just read the story about the repulsive teenage boys who were abusing the Labrador puppy, if my children ever did anything like that I wouldn't hesitate to send them away, to an awful place where they would be punished and miserable, I would want nothing more to do with them, to me there is nothing lower than hurting an animal, ANY animal, they are precious creatures that we are so lucky to share this planet with, and we should do everything we can to make sure they are loved, and well taken care of. I realise that this is not the case for everyone(sadly) but we should at least know that this kind of behaviour and treatment of animals is not acceptable, and people should be severely punished, like others have said, if not for the animals at least look at the fact that if they are doing this to animals, they are most likely going to do these things to people. NZ needs to start giving harsher sentences,no matter their age. I agree with NJ, WE NEED TO WAKE UP!!!! WE'RE PATHETIC!!
"sentences for animal abuses" Craig, while you have your heart in the right place you are showing extreme ignorence in this matter. Farm animals made for eating...who says we hate them? I am very thankful for the food i eat myself. The way they are treated may be wrong and cruel and punishable but the act of killing them, as long as its humain and for a good reason is fine IT IS NOT ANIMAL CRUELTY TO KILL SOMETHING FOR FOOD.