At dinner the other night, my husband asked me, “Did you see the story about the Cocker Spaniel?”
Sigh … No, I had not, and I had a feeling that I didn’t want to. “Did a dog die? If a dog died, I don’t want to hear about it,” I concluded.
He flinched, telling me that I did want to know about it, but maybe just not right then. These conversations always feel like a loose/loose proposition; like driving by a car accident in which we can’t bear to look, but we also can’t bear NOT to look. Curiosity usually wins, and we humans tend have curiosity that leans toward the morbid.
Sure enough, first thing the next morning, I went digging online at the Mercury News site, and what I learned filld my eyes with salt water; my heart felt heavy.
There are a few things that I have no tolerance for, abuse being one of them. As I have a “soft spot” for animals, which rely on humans for care and protection, I will go to many lengths to protect their welfare. Animals are innocent; they don’t know feelings of hatred or revenge, but they do have great resilience and capacity for love and loyalty, even to individuals who don’t deserve it. Their deaths, which may seem to some as being small and insignificant, are not. A life is a life. And all life deserves the chance to live.
Alex Castro, a 46 year old man (AKA: A bottom-feeding pond scum dweller), didn’t like his girlfriend’s dog, Cooper. So when Cooper cried and whined, he took matters into his own hands; he killed the dog.
Castro was proud of his superior sense of self and what he had accomplished, boasting to the neighbors that he “finally did it.” As he bragged, he carried Cooper’s lifeless body as proof of his evil deed. His neighbors called the police.
As painful as it is, I’m trying to wrap my brain around the incident: A 46 year old man, “sometimes” construction worker, no doubt on the strong side, who has a prior list of violence, he looks down at an elderly, 10 year old dog, who’s crying. He kicks the shit out of the dog, chokes him, tosses him up in the air like a rag doll, and when that’s not enough, he takes a ball-peen hammer and hammers a hole in the dog’s skull! Problem solved.
The district attorney’s office, rightfully in my opinion, is going for the maximum sentence, using the “3 strikes you’re out” law. As Castro has 2 prior convictions, if he is found guilty in this case (as if there should even be an “IF”), he could be sent to prison for 25 years to life. “Long may he rot there,” are my sentiments!
I find Joanie Gonzalez, pond scum’s girlfriend, a bit brain-numb and delusional. In spite of having had verbally abusive interactions with Gonzalez, as well as at least one incident involving a physical confrontation, she thought he was capable of change and in the midst of (miraculous?) transformation. Is this hard for anyone else but me to believe? He already had spent 3 years in prison, not to mention several shorter stays for 6 violations in a five-year period. Apparently, she overlooked some important facts: Her dearly beloved boyfriend took a metal pipe to a man’s head in a bar brawl, and he also severely choked a man who made unflattering comments about a previous girlfriend.
Her comments about the incident involving the dog she, herself, raised since he was a puppy: "I loved my dog like my kids," she said, "but that's a long time” (to spend in prison).
Tell me folks, if you loved your dog like your “kids” (parents AND animal lovers, you know what I’m talking about here) would this man not deserve to pay for his unmerciful killing of an innocent animal who was unable to escape or protect himself?
Here’s the deal: Castro already has a record that includes felony convictions, which include assault with a deadly weapon and battery resulting in serious injury (I guess a pipe to one’s skull could be considered assault and deadly). He already served 3 years for those crimes. Now he’s brutally killed an animal in similar fashion, taking a hammer to its skull. Is this a changed man, a man on the road to recovery?
No one has the right to take an animal’s life through torture, beating or abuse. A life is a life, no matter how small. No animal deserves to spend its final hours being beaten to a pulp and dying a slow, painful death.
Violence isn’t self-healing; it’s not here today and gone tomorrow. It lives, dormant & below the surface. It’s only a matter of time before it surfaces and strikes again.
Castro has a serious & violent track record. He’s not ashamed, nor sorry for his abusive actions. Instead he brags about it. He views his violent behavior as a conquest, and this is how he solves his problems.
There is a strong correlation to those who victimize and torture animals, to those who commit other, more serious crimes against the rest of us.
Left on the streets he WILL behave this way again. If so, who’s next?
Above Photo: Mercury News online
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