Hope and Justice – Why We Need Humane Education

On Saturday April 4, two juvenile males (aged 15 & 17) <we have to say allegedly> set two pit bulls on fire. The dogs sustained such extensive injuries from the attack they unfortunately they had to be euthanized.

A Candlelight Vigil in memory of the two dogs was held on Tuesday evening at the Dallas City Hall, sponsored by Animal Connection of Texas (ACT), Metroplex Animal Coalition (MAC) and Texas Animal Defense Coalition (TADC). Speakers included Dallas District Attorney David Alex, Dr. John J. Pippin, Jonnie England with MAC, Kent Robertson with Dallas Animal Services (DAS), Niloofar Asgharian, Shannon Morgan and Rebecca Poling of Companions for Life.

Concerned Dallas citizens asked Judge Acuna NOT to let this go unpunished, but rather to apply the full force of the law to this felony.

Rebecca Polling spoke about the proven link between cruelty to animals and violence to humans and the need for humane education, stating that “It is important that everyone understands that what happened to Hope & Justice is not just a pet issue but is also a people issue.  Studies have shown a concrete link between animal cruelty and domestic violence.”

And it’s not just domestic violence either: “The FBI will tell you that virtually every serial killer our country has ever known abused animals when they were young.  Violent and aggressive criminals… are often known to have gotten their start as children, inflicting pain and suffering on animals.” 

Humane Education can help prevent felonies like this, and the escalation of violence or cruelty, by building a more compassionate society that places greater value on the role of companion animals. 

In this case, however, it is up to law enforcement and our court system to take cases like this seriously – these are not just childhood pranks, but potentially serious precursors other types of criminal violence.

View the video coverage of the vigil for Hope and Justice.

RIP Hope and Justice. May your deaths not be in vain, but drive a community to find their humanity and build a more compassionate world.


What to do about animal cruelty? The ASPCA has tips on recognizing and taking action against it here. If you are a witness to animal cruelty, call 911 immediately!


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