Propst on animal abuse: It’s just very sick

A 5-week old puppy has a cut on its forehead and neck. The Saipan Tribune opted not to show the wound on this dog’s neck because of its graphic nature. (Contributed Photo)

A 5-week old puppy has a cut on its forehead and neck. The Saipan Tribune opted not to show the wound on this dog’s neck because of its graphic nature. (Contributed Photo)

Coming on the heels of a story about a dog with a rock tied to its neck and left to drown, another case of animal abuse has surfaced and reported to the animal welfare group Saipan Cares for Animals in early January.

A puppy that is believed to be 5 weeks old has been found with wounds in its neck and face. It was reported that somebody attempted to slash the dog’s face open with a knife. The puppy’s wound on its neck is so deep that muscles beneath the fur could be clearly seen.

Rep. Ed Propst (Ind- Saipan), who has been working to enact animal protection legislation in the Commonwealth, said the incident is “just very sick.”

The incident has only deepened Propst’s desire to reintroduce his proposed Animal Protection Act of 2015 in the 20th Legislature. The Legislature just had its inaugural session last Monday.

“I am going to ask my colleagues in the House to move expeditiously on this [bill] because this bill has already been vetted. The Natural Resource Committee report of the 19th Legislature addressed concerns and the bill has passed the House unanimously before going into the Senate,” said Propst.

Propst recognizes that the CNMI has yet to establish its own laws to protect animals. He believes he already has the support of Sen. Sixto Igisomar (R-Saipan).

“I have spoken with Sen. Sixto Igisomar via email so [the CNMI] can finally once and for all have animal protection laws set up to address cases like this,” he said.

Propst said he is frustrated to know that the latest culprit, although known to animal rights activists, cannot be charged with anything because of the lack of animal protection laws in the CNMI.

“It is deeply disturbing and disheartening that we know who this person is but the police is powerless, they can’t do anything, they can’t arrest him and charge him with anything,” he said.

SCA president Beth Pliscou said she received a call reporting about the 5-week old puppy having deep cut wounds on its neck.

“We received a call from someone who said the owner left in the morning with this 5-week-old puppy on their property,” said Pliscou. “When they returned home a couple hours later, they found their puppy had been brutally attacked by a knife, with someone attempting to kill it by cutting its throat open. [The caller] brought the puppy into SCA and we cared for it as best as we could, but this puppy will never fully recover,” she said.

Future concerns

Propst said his desire to push forward with his animal rights bill is intended not only to prevent the abuse of animals, but also for the sake of people.

“When people do crimes like this, it shows that they have some sort of psychological problem. Some who torture and mutilate animals end up becoming killers,” said Propst.

“That is why we have to look into this and try to nip it in the bud before it continues. You obviously have to be deeply disturbed to be able to things like this. There is no way a normal human being would ever torture an animal like that. It’s just very sick,” he added.

Propst said he would be filing this bill early on in his term.

“I am most definitely pushing this forward and I am putting this forward as one of the first bills that I will be filing.”

The CNMI is the only U.S. territory that has yet to establish animal protection laws. Propst’s first attempt at establishing one for the CNMI was not passed by the Senate back in 2015.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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