By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
It's not that I want to write about animal cruelty as often as I do. It's just that evidence of cruelty continues to abound. Whoever perpetrated this alleged crime should be punished severely:
At least 21 horses collapsed and died on Sunday as they were about to take part in a polo match in Florida, and investigators said on Monday that poison was the most likely cause of their deaths.
The horses, from the Venezuelan-based Lechuza Caracas team, were being unloaded in preparation for the United States Open polo championships in Wellington, Fla., when several of the animals inexplicably began to stumble and collapse. Many of the horses died at the scene as veterinarians tried to save them and spectators looked on. Others died at vet clinics or while en route to a local clinic.
Veterinarians who examined the animals said that it appeared that they had died from heart failure caused by a toxin of some sort. But the precise reasons for their deaths were not expected to be determined until Friday, when autopsies are conducted, said Peter Rizzo, the executive director of the U.S. Polo Association.
Is the death penalty appropriate for whoever did this (assuming it was intentional)? In my mind, yes it is. Many Americans believe that other animals have just as much "right" not to be slaughtered or abused as human animals have. If authorities find the person or persons who apparently poisoned these horses, that/those person(s) might get off with a stiff fine (no fine is stiff enough) and a few years in prison. Anyone sick enough to cause these innocent animals such a horrible death is sick enough to go after humans next. If that's not reason enough to protect people from the same fate, then what is?