This photo of a puppy hanging from a clothesline sent animal lovers on a rampage online when it was posted last June 12. The reaction was instantaneous. The young man who thought this whole thing was funny, Jerzon Senador from Calamba, Laguna, quickly took down the photo when countless animal lovers vented their ire. But he was defiant at first, posting: “hahaha,..winashing k p nga yan weh…” and “Hahaha, hnd ako makukulong noh..remember senador toh! aquh ng pa2pad ng Animal cruelty at kya kong bawiin yun!! ahahahaha.” But later changed his tune and apologized: “Gusto ko humingi ng tawad sa nagawa kong kasalanan sa aking alagang aso.. Sana mapatawad nyo ako at pinapangako ko na hindi na mauulit…”
This is reminiscent of the UP Physics major, Joseph Carlo Candare, who was convicted for violating the Animal Welfare Act. Besides, the penalty is a mere slap on the wrist. He was ordered to pay Php 1,000 and do volunteer work for PAWS for 2 months. Nobody does jail time for harming or even killing an animal, no matter how brutal. Many accepted Jerzon’s apology, but just as many remain unimpressed. PAWS is still pursuing a case against Senador.
My two-cents worth on the matter is that this happens more often than we think. This is one case where the public had access to what he was doing, since he was careless enough to post photos that document his cruelty. But so many others, and I’m sure much worse, happen on a daily basis. He is just one of many, and I’m just glad that people are paying more attention. Many people like Jerzon may just be misinformed. A lot of people don’t think animals deserve any rights. Many who have read this story probably don’t even see what the fuss is all about. As for his apology, I hope he apologized because he realized what he did was wrong, and more importantly, WHY it was wrong. I hope he’s not just apologizing to take the heat off of him. I say let the law deal with him. Let’s not lynch him, let’s not allow mob mentality to unnecessarily harm the guy, but let him receive what the law dictates. If the law says he erred, then let the necessary penalties be meted (no matter how inconsequential the penalties may be). That’s why we created laws, to deal with situations like these. I don’t believe that we should let hate deal with hate. Hopefully high-profile cases like these help educate people in what is proper behavior when it comes to animals. Although I understand that not a lot of people share the same love for animals, to set a minimum of respect for other living things, I believe is imperative. You don’t have to love animals in order to respect their rights. It just feels like such an uphill climb. Sigh…I hugged my dogs after I read this…
(I hope someone takes the puppy from his possession and gives it to a loving home where people don’t treat animals like inanimate objects)