Justice must be served


As I sit to write this article, I feel a deep tiredness within – a "what’s the point" kind of exhaustion generated by the awareness that I am (again) writing about another heinous act committed against an animal that could go unpunished for one ridiculous reason or another. This, although there is amended animal welfare legislation (with fines of up to $200,000 and five years in jail for animal abuse/cruelty) sitting on a shelf gathering dust and cobweb.

The case to which I make reference is the one in which a Carnbee villager shot a pet Husky (Lexi) with a pellet gun, tied a rope around her neck, dragged her into the street and proceeded to beat her with a shovel until she died. (As I write this it is February 17; I learned about the case on social media yesterday – so further details are sparse).

I was unable to watch beyond two seconds of the video posted on social media, after seeing the dog being dragged and realising that footage was of the act. Thankfully, someone had the presence of mind to film the violent sequence, presumably from the upper room of a nearby building. That video evidence is in the hands of the police and the latest reports are that "charges will be laid."

I (and I am sure many others throughout TT) wait with bated breath to see what these "charges" will be. Will they reflect the severity of this gruesome act? Or, like the three Trinidadian men who, in a self-professed (and might I say delusional) "act of mercy" killed the black dog of Embacadere by hanging her from a tree (while laughing and filming the process to upload to social media) – will Lexi’s killer get off with a mere slap on the wrist?


Few of us will forget the case of the three "hangmen" – not only because of how horrific it was but because they got off with fines of $400 each and were practically "congratulated" by their attorney in his definition of their crime as one of "compassion." With legal outcomes like that, how can we have hope that justice will ever be served in TT when human beings commit such unimaginable atrocities against members of the animal kingdom?

Where are those three "hangmen" now? What are they doing? Did the one who "owned" the canine victim get another dog? Possibly. After all, we live in a country where one can commit such an unthinkable act and still be allowed to "own" a pet thereafter.

In developed countries, where laws against animal cruelty are not only strict, but actually enforced, after anyone is convicted of a criminal act against an animal, the court is likely to prohibit the defendant from possessing an animal for a certain period of time, or indefinitely – one way of preventing or at least severely lessening the likelihood of repeat offences.

Some people who dared to view the entire video of the Husky's killing commented on the number of cars that drove by the scene of the crime without stopping or even slowing down, to see what had happened. "Drink water and mind my business," as Patrice Roberts would sing.

While some people, in comments on the social media post, attempted to defend the man for his heinous actions by saying that he was probably trying to defend himself from a vicious animal which (from currently known details) was not the case, others were understandably sickened and traumatised by the scenario.

"My heart stopped beating...Who is this beast of a man?" one woman wrote.

"I don't even know how to respond," another stated. "Why is the violence and cruelty to animals so heinous in our islands? I was reading some of the comments on the original post and realised that no matter what, people actually have found a justification for this man's actions. What madness is that? And the law probably would as well."

The fact that Lexi was a Husky automatically gives the case a higher profile. Had she been a "pothound," how different might media reports and general public reactions have been? Various social media commenters expressed concern that such an expensive dog had been killed.

Cost is not the issue. A life was brutally ended. The species does not matter – but what does is the outcome of this case. This killing must become the first example of enforcement of the amended animal cruelty legislation.


"Justice must be served"

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