Watch Tip: Torment and Torture

Posted on March 27th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

wwtips_a2Watch and listen for pets that are being tormented or tortured by troubled teenagers or children, and call the authorities immediately to save their lives or talk to their parents as soon as possible. Even if animals are not physically injured, the emotional trauma resulting from intentional torment can create life-long fears and a potential for dire consequences.

Gucci and the Good Samaritan who loved him

On Wed., March 24, 2010, 16-year-old Gucci died. He was not “the” fashion designer–he was a dog who survived torture, and like Sunbear, inspired an animal abuse felony law, this one in Alabama called “Gucci’s Law.” The husky-chow mix was a sociable and handsome dog, and the distinctive ear stubs and facial scars from his ordeal made him recognizable everywhere. He became a celebrity, making countless appearances and even was featured in theatrical productions.

Click to purchase at AmazonGucci as a puppy was hanged by his neck and set on fire by a group of misguided youths in Alabama on May 19, 1994, and a Good Samaritan rescued him from certain death. Gucci was lucky that his torturers did not choose an isolated location. Instead of enduring extreme terror and pain until merciful death, he was rescued and immediately adopted by his rescuer, Doug James, who then provided access to the veterinary care and the treatments he needed to eventually recover fully. Gucci at the time of his rescue was owned by a teenage girl who wasn’t able to care for him, so she gave her dog to James.

James could have been too intimidated to take action, as many would have been. Or he could have called the authorities but Gucci most likely would have died horribly in the interim. He could have left Gucci in the care of his teenaged owner who did not have means to provide veterinary treatment. He might have provided immediate assistance and then passed him to an overburdened rescue or shelter. But instead this brave Good Samaritan went all the way and opened his home permanently to Gucci on the spot. Together Gucci and James inspired a law, and James devoted his life to spreading Gucci’s story, even writing a book about Gucci and other pet stories.

In one heartbeat, one warm spring night, while hearing a terrified puppy wail, James became an important animal advocate in Alabama. He took immediate action and he never looked back. Bless you a thousand times, Doug James; we share in your grief for the loss of your best friend Gucci. But be comforted by the fact that you and Gucci made a difference in Alabama and you both still inspire others today.

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