As many of you know I was a police reporter for more than 20 years. In my career I covered everything from the aftermath of 9/11 in the New York City suburbs to homicides, courthouse shootings and airplane crashes. So I’ve seen a lot of nasty stuff. To this day, I can’t forget those things. I never will.
And to this day, nothing makes my blood boil more than an animal cruelty case. As far as I’m concerned, there is no punishment harsh enough for anyone who deliberately hurts or kills an animal. I mean think about it. If someone is sick and twisted enough to hurt or kill an animal, they probably won’t think twice about hurting or killing a human being.
Alleged kitten killer arrested
So if what I recently about Junsong Zhang, 21, of Queens, New York, is actually true, they should just lock him up and get rid of the key. Now.
According to published reports, Zhang killed two kittens on January 22, 2019. He allegedly did so by putting them in a cage, putting the cage in the bathtub, turning on the tap, and leaving for nearly an hour.
As Zhang reportedly told authorities, the animals were “lying in the water and not breathing.” So he allegedly put them in a plastic bag and took them to the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan.
In a criminal complaint cited by the New York Daily News, a forensic veterinarian said both kittens were “healthy, and that one kitten had torn nails on its right front paw, left front paw and right back paw.”
A postmortem assessment confirmed that the kittens had drowned. They were just seven months old.
New York City prosecutors told the media that Zhang intended to “cause extreme physical pain” to the animals. As a result, he was arrested earlier this month and charged with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty.
Zhang was reportedly “released under supervision” and ordered to surrender his passport pending future court appearances.
Possible punishment upon conviction
Under Section 353-a of New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law, someone is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when he or she, “intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty.” In this context, aggravated cruelty is defined as conduct that: “(i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.”
Aggravated cruelty to animals is a felony in New York. The maximum punishment upon conviction is two years in prison.
And as far as I’m concerned, that’s just not good enough.