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Animal cruelty signs of much worse issues

Far too often our society ignores warning signs in individuals who are a danger to themselves and others.

Anyone who would savagely abuse and torture an animal certainly is showing those signs.

Lawrence County has seen two occurrences of extreme violence against animals in recent weeks, with two dogs and a cat being tortured and killed in separate incidents.

Although two individuals have been arrested in one case, those individuals and anyone else suspected of these and other crimes is innocent until proven guilty.

Anyone who would commit acts of violence like this needs help. Experts believe that behavior like this is a sign of other deep-rooted problems and these acts of violence could be precursor to others.

If experience has taught us anything it should be that ignoring red flags can lead to dangerous outcomes. Mass shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and, recently, at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. are some of the tragedies.

In these cases and others like them there were some indications that something was wrong with the individuals committing the crimes. At best, they needed help. At worst, heeding the signs could have led to actions that would have saved lives.

We, as a society, must take violence against animals seriously and we are thankful that the Lawrence County Sheriff’s office and other agencies have done so in these cases.

All life is sacred, human and animal alike.