Consider the following story from today's Clarion-Ledger.
A horse was allegedly chained by its neck to a tree while being studded. The owner of the horse found him near death, and by the time he returned from calling 911, the horse had, indeed, passed away.
The man allegedly responsible for the death paid a mere $244 to bond out of jail. The case was not charged as a felony because the owner feared he could not prove the value of the horse.
Do we not consider animals -- especially the higher functioning mammals -- to be God's creatures just like us, capable of joy, fear, pleasure, and pain? The minor penalties imposed for wanton cruelty to animals indicate that we do not. That is a plain shame.