Philly Dawg has been away from her post for a brief time, enjoying a relaxing Cape Cod seaside setting and three days of rigorous sessions on the economy, poverty, health care and polling as part of the thought-provoking journalists retreat hosted by the prestigious Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy at Washington University.
While I was gone Philadelphia experienced yet another horrific case of dog torching and an escaped pet wolf-hybrid dog turned up in Pennypack Park.
First to the latest animal cruelty in Philadelphia. A mixed-breed dog was doused with gasoline and set on fire on Sunday. The dog, named Chloe, later succumbed to her severe injuries, the Inquirer reports.This comes just weeks after someone suffocated and set afire a Yorkie mix in Coatesville. The owner told a local TV station that she was upset about her dog's death ("like losing a child") and went on to say how Woogie often wandered the neighborhood for hours at a time, apparently seeing no connection between letting her dog roam and it ending up in the hands of psychopaths.
Rewards are being offered to anyone who can help solve either of those cases. Anyone with information on Chloe's attack is asked to call the PSPCA at 866-601-7722 or those with information on Woogie's killing should contact the Chester County SPCA at 610-692-6113, ext. 213.
What possesses someone who performs such barbarous acts of cruelty to a defenseless animal? We need not look any further than the heart-wrenching image above to find the hearts of darkness that lurk in humankind.
Meanwhile, the chase is on in Pennypack Park to nab a wolf-hybrid that his owner said escaped while on a walk back in March. The owner, who says he bought the dog named Levi in Florida as a Valentine's Day present for his fiancee, came forward the other day and has joined the search with staff of the Game Commission - which fortunately appears to be taking a humane approach in this case, but says it will shoot the animal if it poses a threat.
Now he says his fiancee she doesn't want the dog and, if caught safely, Levi will be turned over to a wolf sanctuary, officials told the Inquirer.
The story highlights why buying pets as presents is a terrible idea and underscores the issues surrounding the keeping of wild animals - even hybrids, sold as pets. Wolf-hybrids are legally bought and sold in some states, not Pennsylvania. They may only be kept here with a permit.