EDITORIAL: Support the York County SPCA

York Dispatch

We, like so many York countians, were horrified earlier this week to view the video of the York City man beating a pit bull.

Willa, the 8 to 10-week old pitbull puppy seen in a video, on facebook, of her father being beaten, is now being cared for by the York County SPCA in York, Pa. shown on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)

An animal-cruelty charge has been filed against Luis Junior Cruz-Padro, who is currently a fugitive.

It's no wonder he is running, because there are a number of animal lovers out there who have been very vocal about how enraged they are after seeing a video of the beating on social media.

But the York County SPCA wants us to know that taking measures into our own hands when it comes to animal-cruelty cases is not advisable. In order for them to ensure proper charges are filed against someone who has been abusing an animal, they must intervene and confiscate the animal.

SPCA: Charge filed against York man for taped dog-beating

That does two things: First, it allows the officials to maintain the injured animal as evidence. And it also allows them to provide care and possibly place the animal in a safe and caring home.

In this case, a 1½ year-old white pit bull, Bugz, suffered a broken rib and bruising to his side as a result of the beating.

Humane Police Office Nicole Boyer filed a first-degree misdemeanor version of the charge in the office of District Judge Ron Haskell Jr., according to SPCA Executive Director Melissa Smith.

Smith said the offense is punishable by not less than a $1,000 fine, no more than two years in prison, or both. She called what happened to Bugz at the hands of Cruz-Padro “deliberate, repeated and prolonged abuse.”

Willa, a pit bull puppy who was seen looking fearful in the video of her father, Bugz, being beaten, was also cared for by the York County SPCA. She was to be adopted soon and Smith anticipated that she will have “an amazing life.”

As for Bugz, he'll go first to foster care where he can be evaluated so he can “be placed in a home where he can be the best he can be,” Smith told us. That may take some time but to us this exemplifies the level of care and understanding that the York County SPCA administers to animals who have been neglected and abused.

So we'd like to encourage everyone who is angry over what they have seen or heard about Bugz' abuse and Willa's situation to channel that anger into positive action.

Although Bugz and Willa will likely be spoken for, there are many dogs in need of a forever — or foster — home. And, of course, donations to the York County SPCA would go a long way to help animals in need of the services provided by Melissa, Nicole and all of the angels who rescue those most vulnerable citizens — animals.