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The Boston Globe



Cruel divide

Why does animal abuse seem to elicit more outrage than child abuse?

“I think you are almost as scary as the monster who brutally tortured and murdered Puppy Doe Kiya. You are a very sad and pathetic man.” Then there was this: “You should be silenced, period!” These were two of the more thoughtful communiques I received in response to a December TV commentary I did on the day the alleged abuser of Puppy Doe, the pit bull ultimately put down because of her injuries, was arraigned.

Here’s what I said that apparently offended most: “While the crimes of the alleged torturer of Puppy Doe are horrific, I am constantly struck by the contrast between the reaction to this man and to people who do the same thing to humans, especially young humans.” I then mentioned Jeremiah Oliver, the 5-year-old Fitchburg boy ignored by the state’s Department of Children and Families, missing for months, allegedly endangered by his mother and abused by her boyfriend, and now feared dead.

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