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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sparkle Is Killed on the Front Stoop of Her House by an Unleashed Dog in the Latest of Centuries-Old Deadly Attacks That Bear the Unmistakable Imprimatur of the House of Commons

The Dog's Owner Dumped Sparkle's Body in a Trash Can

"Sparkle must have been so scared in her final moments."
-- Jacob Hazley

Sparkle was a beautiful eleven-year-old gray, brown, and white female who enjoyed spending lazy summer afternoons grabbing a few winks on the stoop outside her home on Brimrod Lane in the Sudden section of Rochdale in Greater Manchester. In any remotely halfway civilized society where the lives of cats and the rights of property owners are held to be sacrosanct that would have been a safe and salubrious activity for her to have engaged in but since such idyllic conditions hardly exist in either Rochdale in particular or the United Kingdom in general it ended up costing Sparkle her life.

At sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 22nd while she was napping a large dog, possibly a Lurcher, scented her presence from the sidewalk and raced onto private property in order to catnap and kill her. Blindsided by the ferocious attack, it is highly unlikely that she ever knew what had hit her until it was way too late.

"The dog just grabbed her and ran to the green opposite," Sparkle's distraught owner, fifteen-year-old Jacob Hazley, later told Rochdale Online on August 29th. (See "Owner of Beloved Family Cat Killed Outside Her Home by a Dog Begins Petition to Change Law.") "The neighbors described it as 'being ragged around like she was a teddy'."

Two factors contributed immensely to Sparkle's death. First of all, there apparently is not any fence around the Hazleys' property or at least if one does exist it does not encircle the driveway. Secondly, Hazley and his mother were away from home when the unprovoked attack occurred.

Neither of those factors can in any way detract from the salient fact that under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 it is illegal for any owner to allow a dog to be "out of control" and that usually implies that it must be either on a leash or locked away behind some sort of restraining barrier, such as a door. Inexplicably, even on those truly rare occasions when the police bother to enforce the strictures of the act, legal redress is pretty much limited to attacks upon individuals. C'est-à-dire, marauding dogs are free to attack and kill cats with impunity throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Since the parliamentarians in Westminster have so generously granted dogs a carte blanche right to kill cats it is not surprising that their owners are taking full advantage of that inhumane edict in order to fully indulge in their ailurophobic tendencies. "He had no control over the dog," Hazley told Rochdale Online. "It ran off from the owner and up our drive, where it noticed Sparkle sleeping on the mat outside the front door."

As far as it has been reported in the media, the man did absolutely nothing in order to stop the attack. On the contrary, he only stirred his evil bones after his dog had veered down an alley on Holborn Street.

Confronted by one of Hazley's neighbors, he claimed that Sparkle had escaped with her life. In reality, however, by that time she already was either seriously injured or dead but instead of doing the right thing by procuring emergency veterinary care for her and afterwards contacting Hazley, he did the exact opposite by dumping her body in a trash can.

He did so for two reasons. The first of which was to dispose of the evidence of his and his dog's heinous crime as quickly as possible. Furthermore, if the garbagemen had arrived in a timely fashion he and his dog would have successfully pulled off the perfect crime.

Unfortunately for him, the killing had been witnessed by one or more of Hazley's neighbors. "We had found out by witnesses who (had) seen the incident take place and described it as 'upsetting'," Hazley disclosed in an undated article that appears on change.org. (See "Change the Law and Get Justice for Cats Attacked by Dogs.") "The owner of the dog did not even tell us."

Besides being indebted to his neighbors for informing him about what had happened to Sparkle, he had another reason to thank them. "All that would go through our heads (if they had not done so) is that she is lost and we would be unable to give her the burial she deserved," he added.

Quite obviously, the dog's morally depraved owner feels differently. As far as he is concerned cats are nothing more than garbage and therefore unworthy of proper burials and that constitutes the second reason that he so nonchalantly got rid of Sparkle's corpse by tossing it into a trash can.

Almost as revoltingly, Rochdale Online surely must share those sentiments in that it has steadfastly refused to publicly identify either him or his dog. That is in spite of the fact that the dog is known to chase and attack cats in the neighborhood and will likely kill more of them in the future. By contrast, any halfway responsible media outlet would want to get the man and his dog off the street and behind bars as quickly as possible.

Although thanks to his neighbors Hazley and his family were able to at least find out what had become of Sparkle, that in no way made the retrieval of her remains any easier for them. "My whole family is distraught as we had to get her out of the bin that the dog's owner had put her in," he admitted to Rochdale Online.

He now can identify with the terrible thoughts that coursed through Dori Stone's tortured soul in August of 2011 when she had to collect the remains of her beloved Haze after he had been executed by, not surprisingly, an unidentified police officer in Lebanon, Ohio. "We love our cats. Do you know what it was like to pull your pet out of the garbage can and then pull him out of the garbage bag and his head is bloody with a bullet hole in it?" she afterwards rhetorically asked the public to ponder. "It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society to find his owners."

The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the killings of Sparkle and Haze is that there is not altogether that much difference in the modi operandi of criminals who use dogs in order to kill cats and cops who turn their revolvers on them. Both groups do so for the sheer pleasure of killing cats. (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2011 entitled "The Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Coldblooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop.")

The response from the authorities to the killing of Sparkle has been disgustingly predictable. Contacted by Rochdale Online, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) blew long and hard about how the courts have jurisdiction to decide if a dog is "dangerously out of control" when it attacks someone's animal. The force additionally warned that the owners of such dogs are subject to unlimited fines and up to six months in jail.

In addition to being a rather dubious interpretation of the strictures of the Dangerous Dogs Act, the GMP would first have to conduct an investigation and to make an arrest before the man and his dog could be brought to court and the chances of that happening are slim and none. "This incident was reported to the Greater Manchester Police and we may as well have been told that they're not going to do anything," Hazley wrote resignedly on change.org.

Although there is little on this earth that could ever detract from the enormity of the loss suffered by Hazley and his family, the RSPCA nevertheless attempted to inject a bit of levity into the situation when it put in its two cents' worth. "This is a shocking and upsetting incident," is how that an unidentified spokesperson for the charity pointed out the obvious to Rochdale Online. "Dog owners have a legal responsibility under the Dangerous Dogs Act (of) 1991 to keep their dog (sic) under control in a public place."

As if that were not enough meaningless palaver and senseless lecturing to suffice for a lifetime, the organization did not even have the bon sens to have stopped there but rather it plowed right ahead and in doing so exposed its true colors. "This legislation is enforced by the police," it concluded by way of washing its hands of Sparkle's killing.

There are, quite obviously, several glaring problems with the charity's rather hasty abdication of its obligations. First of all, given that the police throughout the United Kingdom have absolutely no interest whatsoever in investigating cruelty to cats, it would be nothing short of eye-popping if any of them were to stand in the way of the RSPCA taking action in their stead.

Far from being an isolated case, the same disingenuous back-and-forth finger-pointing occurs all the time in the United States where humane groups argue that it is the job of the police to investigate cases of animal cruelty while the latter stubbornly maintain that the onus lies with the former. Not surprisingly, arrests for abusing and killing cats are about as rare as hens' teeth.

A Group of Teens Stole Bailey from Her Garden and Fed Her to a Lurcher

Secondly, the RSPCA not only has the resources but a team of seasoned investigators who most assuredly could have looked into this matter. Thirdly, it possesses the statutory authority to hire solicitors to both lay charges as well as to actively prosecute cases of animal cruelty.

The real reason that the RSPCA so steadfastly refuses to take cruelty to cats seriously is that it is too busy killing them itself. C'est-à-dire, like PETA, it is a complete fraud! (See Cat Defender posts of June 5, 2007, October 23, 2010, and August 31, 2015 entitled, respectively, "The RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated," "The RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband," and "Beaten and Entombed Above Ground for Several Weeks, a Forever Nameless Cat from Colchester Is Finished Off by the RSPCA which Refuses to Even Investigate Her Death," Daily Mail articles dated December 30, 2012 and November 6, 2014 and entitled, respectively, "Revealed: RSPCA Destroys Half of the Animals That It Rescues -- Yet Thousands Are Completely Healthy" and "RSPCA Forced to Apologize for Wrongly Putting Down Cat Belonging to Family It Accused of Cruelty in Bungled Prosecution," Kent Online, August 13, 2016, "Heartbreak for Larkfield Family after Cat Is Put to Sleep Without Their (sic) Knowledge," and The Chronicle of Chester, August 11, 2016, "Distraught Saltney Family Blast (sic) RSPCA after Their Cat Was Put Down.")

"The RSPCA have told us they will be conducting a home visit," Hazley informed Rochdale Online. If against all odds that ultimately should prove to indeed be the case, it will be coming in order to wag its forked tongue and to scarf down all the free crumpets and tea that the Hazleys are sure to be serving up and most assuredly not to put the owner of the dog that killed Sparkle in handcuffs and leg irons.

The next blighter to sashay up to the podium and strut her stuff was Jacqui Cuff of Cats Protection in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. "We are very sorry to hear about the death of Sparkle the cat," she intoned perfunctorily to Rochdale Online. "As the United Kingdom's leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection is completely dedicated to cats and their welfare so to hear about incidents like this is absolutely heartbreaking and we would like to express our sympathies to Sparkle's owner."

Following in the wake of that big buildup what came next was underwhelming to say the least. "Cats Protection is calling for a specific offense within legislation relating to dangerous dogs to allow the prosecution of dog owners whose dogs attack, injure, or kill cats," she added. "Though the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and keep their dogs under control, it's vital we strengthen the law to deter dog attacks on cats."

Her highfalutin rhetoric is, however, radically at odds with both English history and her own organization's past. First of all, owners have been subjected to fines whenever their dogs have bitten individuals ever since the ninth century but yet no such protections exist for cats that are attacked by dogs.

Secondly, Cats Protection has been in existence since 1927 and yet it has done absolutely nothing in order to protect the very animals that it claims to champion from these types of attacks. Thirdly, Cats Protection has the same problem as does the RSPCA in that it, too, is overly fond of killing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of August 26, 2015 and February 17, 2016 entitled, respectively, "A Myriad of Cruel and Unforgivable Abandonments, a Chinese Puzzle, and Finally the Handing Down and Carrying Out of a Death Sentence Spell the End for Long-Suffering and Peripatetic Tigger" and "Cats Protection Races to Alfie's Side after His Owner Dies and He Winds Up on the Street, Swears It Is Going to Help Him, and Then Turns Around and Has Him Whacked.")

Over the course of the past few decades the single most beneficial development in the advancement of feline welfare has been, without question, the implementation and spread of TNR. Not surprisingly, it owes it phenomenal success, not to well-heeled rescue groups, but rather to scores of dedicated and unpaid volunteers.

To put the matter succinctly, the problem with all rescue groups and shelters is that they spend just about all of their money on salaries and fundraising. Being essentially little more than shekel-chasing mercenaries, their glaring lack of success is attributable to the petit fait that the vast majority of them do not give so much as a rat's ass about cats.

Moreover, that assessment is verified by their utterly deplorable record on feline welfare.  First of all, they are unwilling to stop either the institutionalized killings that occur at their shelters or the heinous crimes committed against cats in the field by Animal Control officers, policemen, and the general public.

Secondly, all of them stubbornly refuse to investigate cases of cruelty to cats, to make arrests, and to prosecute perpetrators. All that they are good for in that regard are periodic fits of self-righteous moral indignation, crocodile tears, and phony-baloney offers of reward money that they bloody well know they never will be obliged to pay out.

Thirdly, although they like to lecture members of the public on the consequences of failing to spay and neuter their cats, to this very day they still refuse to make sterilization services available upon demand. Fourthly, for many of them adoption is the furthest thing from their warped gourds; au contraire, roundups, incarcerations, and systematic exterminations are their forté.

Fifthly, it is nothing short of criminal that none of them are willing to provide veterinary care free of charge to all sick and injured cats and that most definitely should include those that are homeless. Instead, they simply kill them and then lie to the public by falsely claiming that they were beyond all mortal assistance.

In their defense, it must be acknowledged that most rescue group do not currently possess the statutory authority, expertise, manpower, and funds to go after feline abusers. Plus, their shelters are almost always full of cats that must be fed and watered.

Even so, since the police are never going to take cruelty to cats seriously rescue groups must not only change their attitudes but the ways in which that they conduct business. First of all, they need to stop sucking up to the police, politicians, vivisectors (Alley Cat Rescue of Mount Rainier, Maryland, and the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Maine and their dirty dealings with IDEXX Laboratories, for example), and donors and instead put the welfare of cats first.

A second essential step in that process would be the prompt dismissal of all cops from shelters and Animal Control. It additionally is paramount that political flunkies and moneygrubbing city officials in search of second paychecks for doing little or nothing be replaced by individuals who actually possess some knowledge of cats and genuinely care about their welfare.

Above all, the veil of secrecy that long has not only allowed every imaginable offense under the sun to be committed against cats but also shielded from prosecution those who have neglected, abused, and killed them must be lifted. In furtherance of that worthy objective, nothing short of total transparency, unfettered public access to all areas of such facilities, and some means of verifying the accuracy of all intake and outcome data will ever suffice.

For its part, Rochdale Online is recommending that Community Protection Notices (CPN) of the sort that Kathryn and Brad Doulton of Sea Road in Westgate-on-Sea in Kent used against their neighbor, Shirley Key, in order to stop her from allowing their cat, Marley, to sleep over at her house be used against owners who do not control their dogs. (See Cat Defender post of September 1, 2018 entitled "Having Fallen Under the Spell of the Charismatic Marley's Irresistible Charms, an Old Age Pensioner Subsequently Lands in Dutch with Both His Lawful Owners and the Peelers.")

Specifically, such notices can be employed to require individuals to, inter alia, microchip, sterilize, muzzle, and leash their dogs, attend canine training classes, repair holes in the fencing around their houses so as to prevent their companions from escaping, and to put up signage, such as "Beware of Dog" warnings. The first problem with CPNs, however, is in convincing the police, the auxiliary police, local authority officers, and housing associations to issue them.

Not only does Rochdale Online fail to disclose what kind of evidence the authorities require before issuing such orders but how stringently they enforce compliance. Supposedly dog owners who violate such notices can be prosecuted but once again Rochdale Online fails to mention who lays the charges and prosecutes.

In addition to the bureaucratic hurdles and delays that would need to be surmounted before a CPN could be effectively lodged against a recalcitrant dog owner, it is extremely doubtful that such legal shilly-shallying could ever be a prudent means of protecting cats from vicious dogs. As the killing of Sparkle has more than amply demonstrated, these types of attacks come from out of the blue and are over and done with in almost the twinkling of an eye.

It accordingly is questionable if Hazley and his mother would have been able to have saved her life even if they had been at home at the time of the attack. At the very least, they likely would have needed to have been outside and with some type of weapon, perhaps either a baseball bat or a golf club, close at hand that they could have used on the dog in order to have forced it to let go of Sparkle. Even if that tactic had ultimately proven successful, the dog still might had been left with sufficient time in order to have ripped out her throat.

Regi Was Torn to Bits by Stephanie Curwen's Dog as She Laughed

For example, on March 5, 2010 an unleashed Lurcher strayed into a private garden on Guardhouse Road in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and killed a twenty-year-old female cat named Gismo. Her owner, fifty-two-year-old Mick Clarke, tried valiantly to save her but the Lurcher refused to let go of her.

"I'm absolutely disgusted," he later complained to the Keighley News on March 11, 2010. (See "Warning after Cat Is Killed by Lurcher.") "What if my granddaughter had been out there at the time with the cat in her arms? This just isn't right."

Although Hazley has stated on change.org that Sparkle's killer is known to chase and attack cats in the neighborhood, he neglects to mention if he was aware of its behavior before it attacked and killed Sparkle. If so, he perhaps was remiss both for not having previously asked the GMP to issue a CPN and for having left her outdoors and unprotected while he was away from home. On the other hand, if he was unaware that there was a cat-killing dog running loose in the neighborhood it never would have crossed his mind to have slapped its owner with a CPN.

Rochdale Online concludes by gratuitously advising cat owners to report vicious dogs to the police, RSPCA, and the local authorities. Whereas it conceivably might be possible to convince the latter to take proactive measures, owners can forget about ever receiving any constructive support from the other pair of derelicts.

Frustrated at having been left hung out to dry by the GMP, the RSPCA, and Cat Protection, Hazley has taken matters into his own hands by starting a petition at change.org. "I am calling for a change to the law to allow cat owners to take further action against dog owners whose dogs brutally attack cats," he told Rochdale Online.

At last check his petition had collected more than forty-four-hundred signatures which is not a bad start but he nonetheless still has an almost impossible task ahead of him. In particular, Parliament will not respond until he has collected ten-thousand signatures and he has only six months in order to reach that plateau.

Should he be able to garner one-hundred-thousand signatures, his request then will be considered by the Petitions Committee, established in 2015 and comprised of five Tories, an equal number of Laborites, and one member of the Scottish National Party, for debate in Parliament. Even then his chances of prevailing are anything but promising.

For example, on May 31st of last year Parliament rejected an identical petition filed by owners in Kent who had lost a number of cats to dogs. "It is not clear what the petition is asking the United Kingdom government or Parliament to do," was the nonsensical rejoinder that they received from the no-account, high-muck-a-mucks. (See "Allow Prosecution Against Owners of Dogs Attacking Cats" at http://petition.parliament.uk)

If he could identify the owner of the dog, Hazley might be able to bring a civil suit for damages against him, possibly under the Criminal Damage Act of 1971. Even if he then were able to come out on top in that verbal jousting match he is unlikely to be monetarily compensated to any degree that would be even remotely commensurate with the enormity of the terrible loss that he has suffered.

In the meantime the killings, both the high-profile ones as well as those that go unreported, continue unabated and, contrary to Cuff's sottise, a significant portion of them are intentional. For example, on February 22, 2010 a group of teens stole a seven-month-old kitten named Bailey from her garden on Carlton Drive in Strabane, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland and fed her to a Lurcher.

Left with several broken bones and multiple lacerations, she died on the way to the vet. Her senseless killing left her unidentified owner distraught as well as incensed.

"This happened last Monday but I've been too upset to speak about it until now," she later said. "I just don't know how these young people can sleep at night after doing something like this. They are nothing but scum!" (See Cat Defender post of March 24, 2010 entitled "Seven-Month-Old Bailey Is Fed to a Lurcher by a Group of Sadistic Teens in Search of Cheap Thrills in Northern Ireland.")

In another high-profile attack that occurred in July of 2014, twenty-four-year-old Stephanie Curwen of St. Annes in Lancashire unleashed her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Duke, on a six-month-old black kitten named Regi while he was sitting on top of the fence that surrounded his home in the South Shore section of Blackpool. She then sat back and laughed as Duke tore Regi to shreds.

When she finally was forced to face the music in Blackpool Magistrates' Court on April 30, 2015, she was let off with £200 in court costs and an £80 victim's surcharge fee. "It's not about us, it's about our cat," Regi's owner, Lesley-Anne Brocklehurst, said afterwards.  "I just want justice for him and sadly I don't feel we've got that." (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2015 entitled "A Blackpudlian Thrill Seeker Who Sicced Her Pit Bull on Regi and Then Laughed Off Her Fat Ass as He Tore Him Apart Receives a Customary Clean Bill of Health from the Courts.")

More recently Craig Paul Precious of Ellerby Grove in Kingston-upon-Hull, East Yorkshire, was allowed by the courts to get away with a crime identical to the ones that were perpetrated against Gismo, Bailey, Regi, and Sparkle. Specifically, he purposefully allowed his gray Lurcher to stray into a private garden in a residential area and kill an unidentified black and white cat.

"Two cats can be seen in the CCTV footage sitting in a garden. A gray Lurcher runs into view from the street and into the garden and attacks one of the cats," RSPCA Inspector Laura Barber explained to the Hull Daily Mail on September 24, 2018. (See "Hull Man Banned from Keeping Dogs after Letting His Lurcher Kill Cat.") "Fortunately the other one gets (sic) away."

Pleased as punch with his dog's dirty deed, Precious afterwards continued on his merry way just as if nothing untoward had occurred. "Precious comes into view with another Lurcher on a lead and he goes into the garden to take a look at what's happened. After a few moments he leaves the garden and walks away," Barber continues. "Even after the incident the gray Lurcher isn't put on a leash and continues to run in and out of people's gardens."

When his case finally came to trial on September 14, 2018 he was let off by Hull Magistrates' Court with the almost identical light tap on the wrists that Curwen had received earlier. Namely, he was ordered to perform one-hundred hours of community service and to pay £300 in court costs plus an £85 victim's surcharge fee. He additionally was given three weeks to surrender his dogs.

According to court testimony, Precious' dogs had previously attacked cats but even that was insufficient in order to convince the judges to throw the book at him. As both his case as well as Curwen's have demonstrated, English jurists are not about to take cruelty to cats seriously in a million years.

The facts in this case, Curwen's, and Sparkle's are pretty much identical and yet the RSPCA chose to prosecute the first two while stiffing Hazley. The only overt difference between the three of them is that in Curwen's and Precious' cases the RSPCA had surveillance footage at its disposal whereas in Sparkle's case apparently none is available.

It thus would appear that the RSPCA will only prosecute cases involving cruelty to cats that it is sure to win. It thus does not seem unfair to label it as being bone-lazy as well as having a marked disdain for the sanctity of feline life.

There are exceptions to that, however, in that sometimes even the availability of surveillance footage is not enough in order to get the RSPCA to stir its lazy bones. For instance, in early 2015 a thirteen-year-old black cat named Freeman with only three legs was dragged from his garden in Tarring, West Sussex, and killed by a pair of Dobermans.

  Craig Paul Precious Shrugged Off His Dog's Killing of This Unidentified Cat 

The dog's owner then nonchalantly collected them and drove off without even checking on Freeman's condition. Plus, the entire episode had been captured on a nearby surveillance camera but yet the RSPCA refused nonetheless to intervene.

"To find out he had been savaged by the dogs and the owners (sic) had not done anything is just completely callous," Freeman's owner, Tracy Lynch, later complained to the Daily Mail on April 3, 2015. (See "Shocking Moment Three-Legged Cat Was Mauled to Death by Two Passing Dogs as It Lay in Its Front Garden.") "That's what most distressing for us that they (sic) didn't do anything to check on the cat."

The RSPCA is such a derelict operation that even a solitary construction worker with a kind heart is worth considerably more than all of its bureaucrats and field officers put together. For example, if a two-year-old brown cat named Fred from Frome in Somerset had been dependent upon the RSPCA for his deliverance he surely would have wound up like Sparkle, Regi, Freeman, and so many other cats and kittens.

As was the case with Chabot-Matrix some years earlier, a group of construction workers were on hand when he was attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier on July 8, 2014 and they were able to pry open the dog's mouth and thus to save his life. Even then staples were required in order to close several large puncture wounds in his dented skull. (See Cat Defender post of March 25, 2011 entitled "Compassionate Construction Workers Interrupt Their Busy Day in Order to Rescue Chabot-Matrix from a Stream in Maine.")

Predictably, the dog's owner was allowed to get away scot-free; no one even bothered to ask her for identification. (See the Frome Standard, July 12, 2014, "Cat's Lucky Escape from Dog's Savage Jaws of Death.")

The ownership of large vicious dogs that have not been socialized is a problem everywhere. In the United States, for example, they often go hand-in-hand with guns and the large motor vehicle that their owners drive in order to intimidate other motorists and pedestrians.

If the ownership of such dangerous dogs were not bad enough to begin with, the failure of their owners to leash them while out in public is a prescription not only for trouble but death as well. Worst of all, their killing sprees are wholeheartedly sanctioned by the House of Commons, the police, and the RSPCA.

On those truly rare occasions when arrests actually are made, prosecutors go after the guilty with wet noodles. Even when convictions are obtained, jurists adamantly refuse to punish the guilty.

Clearly, just as the Brexit debacle has exposed the English to be anything but the practical, realistic people that they long have claimed to be, so too has their centuries-old willingness to allow dogs to kill cats with impunity exploded the myth that they are either a nation of animal lovers or, for that matter, even remotely civilized. Why, they even thumb their crooked schnozes at the rights of property owners!

In addition to Greater Manchester, the bulk of these attacks appear to be concentrated in the northern counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire as well as Northern Ireland. That possibly could be misleading, however, due to the willingness of the local media and rescue groups in those counties to publicize them.

For instance, in America incidences of cruelty to cats that occur in the northeast and midwest are quite often reported by the media while even far worse abuses that go on all the time down south, in the mountain states, and on the West Coast, including so-called liberal California, are conveniently swept underneath the rug and therefore remain hidden from public view.

Even so, none of that alters the prevailing consensus that Rochdale is one of the worst places to live in all of England.  "Welcome to the cesspit of the universe, where evolution took a break and spat out this breed of useless slack-jawed yocals (sic) with less IQ than a glass of water, and told them to breed with their sisters over and over and over," one critic of the city recently wrote in an undated article on www.ilivehere.co.uk. (See "Top Ten Worst Places to Live in England 2019.")

The city also made that same list in 2018. (See The Mirror of London, December 6, 2018, "Top Ten 'Worst' Places to Live in the United Kingdom Revealed -- Is Your City on the List?")

Thanks to information supplied by his neighbors, Hazley was able to bury Sparkle in his garden. That, however, constitutes the sum total of the satisfaction that he has received so far.

In particular, the injustice of her killing lingers on and continues to gnaw at his soul. "My cat was within the boundaries of her home, where she should have felt safe to sleep and wait our arrival home as she always did," he argued in vain to Rochdale Online just as Clarke had done likewise in 2010 when a Lurcher invaded his garden and killed his beloved Gismo.

Since that quite obviously is not the case with so many dangerous dogs having been given free rein of the country, it accordingly is extremely unwise for any owner to allow a cat to so much as nap in the garden during daylight hours unless the property is entirely surrounded by an impenetrable fence. In the United States where coyotes, raccoons, fishers, skunks, and birds of prey are allowed to kill cats not only with impunity but also to the accompaniment of a chorus of raucous cheers from ornithologists and wildlife biologists it is sometimes necessary to add an electrified wire to the outside of such enclosures.

"Do you think it is fair that a dog can savagely attack another dog and action be taken but cats who are loved equally to dogs cannot have anything done about it?" Hazley asked plaintively on change.org.

Of course it is not fair; it is outrageous but with the laws being so biased in favor of dogs he is going to have an uphill struggle to even get so much as a scintilla of justice for Sparkle. For example, it was not until earlier this year that the House of Commons finally got around to passing a law requiring motorists to report to veterinarians whenever they run down cats.

By contrast, they have been legally obliged for as long as anyone can remember to report the dogs that they injure and kill. (See Yahoo News, May 16, 2019, "New Laws Could Mean Drivers Face Massive Fine (sic) for Running over Cats.")

Perhaps with the passage of sufficient time the sting of the injustice that has been inflicted upon Sparkle and himself will begin to abate somewhat for Hazley. It is still unquestionably an awfully bitter pill for a fifteen-year-old lad to have to swallow.

The one thing that is unlikely to ever change is his memory of the truly monstrous way in which Sparkle's life ended. "Sparkle must have been so scared in her final moments," he empathized to Rochdale Online.

Even more depressing, there is not any possible way that the story of her all-too-brief life can be rewritten in order to change its ending. What is done is done and she is gone forever and will not be coming back.

Photos: Jacob Hazley (Sparkle), Strabane Chronicle (Bailey), The Blackpool Gazette (Regi), and the Hull Daily Mail (the unidentified cat killed by Precious' dog).