In this Dec. 12, 2019, file photo, Katrina Friend works with a horse at Nexus Equine in Edmond, Oklahoma. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / AP

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I was glad to see that a Montana woman was cited for animal cruelty on Oct. 27 for shooting and skinning a 6-month-old Siberian husky. I believe this was a depraved and inhumane action and the law must respond.

The dog had been abandoned on national forest land, and then shot by a woman who posted a slew of graphic photographs on her Facebook page. The photographs include her posing with a big smile next to the pup’s bloodstained, limp body.

“I just smoked a wolf pup,” she posted. She later admitted she thought it was a “hybrid” that was “going to eat me.”

In addition, this month dozens of wild horses have each been shot dead in both Arizona and Utah, despite their being federally protected under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act; six gray wolves of the Wedge pack in northeastern Washington were recently found dead from poisoning with a similar case in Oregon where eight wolves died.

We know that malicious violence toward animals is often a predictor of a broader pathology, including violent instincts to act against our fellow citizens. Congress has a chance to address federal capacity to crack down on violence on our federal lands and violations of our federal laws by passing the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act. This bill would create an “animal cruelty crimes” section at the U.S. Department of Justice so these crimes can be investigated and prosecuted as warranted.

Gina Garey

Maine state director

Animal Wellness Action