“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi
The story this week about Francis McGinley, the Chester boozehound who allegedly planned to turn two helpless kittens into his personal Fancy Feast, was unfortunately only the latest incident of animal cruelty in Delaware County.
Last year, a Southwest Philadelphia man was convicted of drowning his ex-boyfriend’s 8-month-old Pomeranian in Upper Darby and leaving it in a frying pan on the living room floor with salt, pepper and oregano. A Chichester High School student was arrested for setting a 6-week-old brown tabby on fire. “Cuddles” the kitten later died. Another cat was shot with a BB gun in Chester. Another was thrown from a moving car in Brookhaven.
In 2008, a Ridley Township man killed the family dog by plunging a 30-inch samurai-style sword into its chest. The 3-year-old American bulldog mix had been rescued from the SPCA.
Dognappers struck twice last year in Springfield, swiping a high-priced Chihuahua, black plug and maltipom from We Love Pets. They just grabbed the dogs and took off, most likely to sell them on the black market. The $1,400 Chihuahua mysteriously returned to the shop the day after Christmas. Someone left the dog in a toolbox behind the shop.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Upper Darby cat hoarder Denise Merget, who loved her 50-some cats so much that she allegedly pulled a gun on an PSPCA officer who tried to take them away last month. Merget is also believed to have stashed 20 frozen kittens in her mother’s freezer. Maybe we'll find out why at her trial. Amateur cryonics is the police chief's theory.
I don’t usually go around quoting Gandhi, but he’s right. No, we don’t need an animal-abuser registry modeled after Megan’s Law, as Daily News columnist Elmer Smith wrote about yesterday. But let's refrain from burning, drowning, shooting, stabbing, stealing, freezing and attempting to eat cats and dogs, OK? Shouldn't need a new law for that.
Update: McGinley says the witnesses are lying. Claims he was going to "feed" the kittens not "eat" the kittens. Well, that's a start.