Two high schoolers in Pennsylvania recently caused a social media uproar when they posted a video of themselves torturing a severely injured deer they shot. The shocking video showed the teens violently kicking the wounded, but very much alive and conscious, deer in the face. They laughed while the terrified animal struggled to escape. Please take immediate action to hold these teens accountable for their heartless and inexcusable actions.
The appalling abuse Cody Hetrick, 18, and Alex Smith, 16, inflicted upon the deer they shot is sickening and difficult to watch. Yet, it provides a clear picture into the lives of animals tortured and killed for "sport" by hunters. The only thing unusual about this incident is the perpetrators recorded themselves to document their horrific acts of violence and uploaded the video for others to see. Violent acts like those depicted in this video are not uncommon in hunting.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission, the state government body which encourages hunting, is investigating the video to determine if a crime took place. If? Imagine for a second that, instead of a deer, the victim was a dog or cat. The perpetrators would be arrested and immediately charged with felony animal cruelty. This incident must be treated with the same seriousness. The deer tortured in this video has the same ability to experience pain and fear as dogs or cats, and the punishment of the two deeply disturbed individuals responsible for his immense suffering must be just as severe.
In Pennsylvania and many states throughout the country, very young children are encouraged to join their parents to hunt, torture, and kill animals. Our natural instincts as children are to nurture and care for animals. Youth hunting programs are designed to strip children of their natural protective instincts to make them indifferent to animal suffering and violence against innocent beings. Teen killers like Hetrick and Smith are the result of that indoctrination into state-sanctioned animal torture.
Please join us in asking the Pennsylvania Game Commission to strip Cody Hetrick and Alex Smith of their hunting privileges for life and to ban youth hunting. Please also join us in asking Jefferson County Prosecutor, Jeffrey Burkett, to press felony animal cruelty charges against Hetrick and Smith for the unconscionable torture and killing of a beautiful, defenseless creature.
1) Make a quick and polite call to Pennsylvania Game Commission Northwest Region Director, Richard Cramer, at (814) 432-3187. When you call, you can simply say:
"Please hold Cody Hetrick and Alex Smith accountable for the videotaped torture and killing of a helpless deer by charging them with animal cruelty and revoke their hunting privileges for life."
2) Make a quick and polite call to Jefferson County District Attorney, Jeff Burkett, at (814) 849-1628. When you call, you can simply say:
"Please hold Cody Hetrick and Alex Smith accountable for the videotaped torture and killing of a helpless deer by charging them with felony animal cruelty."
3) Leave a comment on the Facebook pages for the Game Commission and District Attorney Jeffrey Burkett. You can simply say:
"Please hold Cody Hetrick and Alex Smith accountable for the videotaped torture and killing of a helpless deer by charging them with animal cruelty and revoking their hunting privileges."
4) Tweet at the Game Commission. You can say:
@PAGameComm Hold Cody Hetrick & Alex Smith accountable for the videotaped torture & killing of a helpless deer. Charge them w/ animal cruelty & revoke their hunting privileges. End youth hunting indoctrination programs aimed at stripping children of their compassion for animals.
5) Submit our joint letter to Pennsylvania Game Commission Northwest Region Director, Richard Cramer, and Jefferson County District Attorney, Jeff Burkett.
Animal Cruelty Charges and a Lifetime Hunting Ban for Cody Hetrick and Alex Smith
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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