Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Year Behind Bars for Teen Kitten Killer Is Not Enough

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Cheyenne Cherry, the 17 year-old who stuffed a helpless kitten in a 500 degree oven is a troubled teen. She is a demented human being, just like every other person who finds pleasure in torturing an animal. It is long recognized that people who torture animals also perform acts of violence against humans such as child abuse, spousal abuse and elder abuse. Torturing animals is a sort of “rehearsal” for them before they move on to bigger prey, humans. In the 1970’s the FBI discovered that many serial killers killed or tortured animals as children and the American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder. In a nutshell, animal torturers are sick, deranged individuals.

Cherry pleaded guilty to the crime at the Bronx Supreme Court on Wednesday. As she exited the courtroom she passed a row of animal rights activist. Cherry grinned at them, stuck out her tongue and yelled, “It’s dead bitch.” Does this sound like a normal human being to you?

On May 6th, Cherry and a 14 year-old friend broke into her ex-roommate’s apartment and thrashed the place. They slashed furniture, unscrewed light bulbs and threw bleach on the walls. Then, in an utmost display of animal cruelty, threw the woman’s kitten, Tiger Lily in the oven and cranked up the temperature. The two fled the apartment so they wouldn’t hear the tiny creature cries or scratches against the oven’s door. When arrested and questioned by police, Cherry announced, “I hate cats.” She also referred to the horrific act as “just a joke.”

Last year Cherry and her boyfriend were arrested for using a BB gun to dog nap a teacup Yorkie. She was also arrested for robbing a man of his iPod at gunpoint.

Cherry pleased guilty to two charges in a six-count indictment. She waived her right to appeal and agreed not to keep a pet for three years. She will spend a year behind bars. This is not enough. The fact that Cherry can keep a pet after three years is horrendous. Her name should be in the database of every animal adoption agency so she could never adopt a pet. In fact, she should not even be allowed to go to the zoo. Animal cruelty needs to be treated as a serious crime. Until then, these perpetrators will continue to torment innocent creatures.

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