Paws and posts

In this times when teenage satisfactions are determined by ‘likes’ and ‘follows,’ a one-month old kitten is killed and a puppy is hang dried.

Gone are the days when brutality only meant savage human killings and cannibalism. Tweets and statuses replace the 300-pages pad-locked diaries. Photos, in one click, spread through virtual albums. A boy is convicted of ‘animal cruelty’ because of a blog post. Another teenage lad is being sought after by the police after posting pictures of a cute puppy pinned in a clothesline.

The cat-killer’s name is Joseph Carlo Candare. He was a Physics student of the University of the Philippines when the news broke. His blurry pictures flashed through the screens when he blogged about the death of Tengteng – a stray cat he killed on 2009.

“I pulled it (the cat) on its tail and threw it. Then like some pro wrestler I jumped on it and my feet landed on its torso. Slam! Felt good,” Candare wrote on his blog.

It was yet a short time after the post when ‘animal-loving’ netizens condemned him. Posters of him ‘wanted alive or dead’ ran through different websites. Pages in FB speaking he should be slammed too, had been a hit. It was an instant shame, not fame. And it’s funny how people have been too cruel for a person which once had been ‘cruel’ to animals. The non-mention of his name in the television news was futile because he became a wanted celebrity in the virtual world.

Two years after, he pleaded guilty of animal cruelty filed by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). He was convicted with a P1000 fine and voluntary works in PAWS, taking care 200 abandoned and maltreated cats.  His was the first successful conviction of someone accused of animal cruelty in the Philippines. He learned his lesson. But other teens did not seem to have learned the same.

Another teenage boy is facing charges of animal cruelty. Jerzon Senador pinned his puppy in a laundry line like it was a piece of a newly washed cloth on June 2011. The internet went abuzz shortly after he uploaded several of the ‘disturbing’ photos and, apparently, in less than 24 hours he got himself into snag when animal and pet lovers immediately created and supported a Facebook page “Report Jerzon Senador the Animal Abuser” purposely “to raise awareness regarding animal cruelty.” More than 4,300 netizens liked the page.

Senador apologized through a post in FB saying “Gusto ko humingi ng tawad sa nagawa kong kasalanan sa aking alagang aso.. Sana mapatawad nyo ako at pinapangako ko na hindi na mauulit… “but shortly, after minutes, he had an equally disturbing post saying “Hahaha, hnd ako makukulong noh.. remember senador toh! aquh ng pa2pad ng Animal cruelty at kya kong bawiin yun! ahahahaha”

The Municipal Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna issued a warrant of arrest against him for violation of Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act.  The boy is nowhere to be found right now.

These may serve a lesson to us. It is never good to share too many information through the internet, at the very first place, so is the being cruel to animals and to JC and to Jerzon.

One click and everything worsens. This is the power of the internet. Each netizen should be extra careful of what he posts and shares. It is still better to share compassion rather than tearing those people’s lives apart. The posts of putting those ‘erring young people’ to shame would not even solve the problems of animal cruelty in the country. Be a tool in sharing, tagging and tweeting about love for animals and people around, instead.

In the end, do not post your cruelty to animals through the internet. I mean, do not be cruel to animals and to the people who had been cruel to them.

Because in this times when teenage satisfactions are determined by ‘likes’ and ‘follows,’ what you feed to the virtual world is much influential than the helpless barks and ‘meows.’

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