I was shocked to read that in Palm Beach it is not uncommon for people to throw cats out of moving cars. I have read about this form of animal abuse on the internet but was unaware how commonplace it was. I wonder why this particular form of animal abuse has developed and become established in Palm Beach, Florida.
It seems to me that nasty people have just caught onto it – a copycat crime. They copy what they read about. They like the idea. They have to be very cruel people. The chances of a cat being seriously hurt or killed when thrown out of the window of a moving car must be high.
The director, Diane Suave, of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control said that they get calls about this sort of animal abuse at least 3-4 times a year. That’s just the reported cases. I wonder how many more times it happens when unreported. It is a very perverse and disturbing sort of criminality. When you think about it, it could be quite difficult to arrange. The perpetrator, who no doubt hates cats, has to get a cat into a car and the cat has to be outside of a cat carrier. I would doubt that many cats will allow that to happen without some sort of resistance. It is likely too that the cat will be a stranger to the people and therefore would be anxious and defensive.
Then the driver (there has to be at least two men) would have to select a suitable road where they could commit the crime. How do they select the road? Do they select a busy road where the chance of death is high? How do they decide how fast they are to drive the car when they throw the cat out of the window? Is the whole thing planned or spontaneous? It is all very strange and bizarre to me. It is deviant behaviour to take pleasure from this sort of activity. These people must have mental health issues. Is it the drugs that they take?
The information about the frequency of this type of animal abuse arose out of the report of a three-month-old kitten being thrown out of a car window during rush hour at Delray Beach, Florida on July 21. It was a well reported incident. The cat was thrown out on the northbound ramp at Atlantic Avenue on Interstate 95. Fortunately, the cat was rescued by a kindhearted person who stopped the traffic. The cat suffered a broken femur. She is expected to make a full recovery after surgery.
Out of interest, I checked the criminal law on animal abuse in Florida. The reported crime must been an intentional act and therefore would appear to be a felony of the 3rd degree punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 and/or a prison sentence on conviction of a term not exceeding five years (Statutes: 775.082 and 828.12).
I would hope that animal abuse of this nature is picked up on CCTV but perhaps it isn’t. I would have thought that the maximum sentence of five years is adequate provided the maximum was handed down by the judge. I would doubt that this occurs at any time even if the perpetrator is caught and successfully convicted.