Readers were shocked and outraged by the results of one of The HSUS’s latest investigations, released on Tuesday, showing a recent resurgence in the animal crush video industry. Crush videos—now available for purchase through the Internet—show women, often in high-heeled shoes, inflicting horrible cruelties on puppies, kittens and other small animals, impaling and crushing the animals to death.
The discovery comes in advance of arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case examining the constitutionality of the federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act—enacted in 1999 to ban the interstate sale of videos depicting extreme cruelty, such as crush videos, but struck down by an appellate court in 2008. The law eliminated the financial incentive driving production of these videos and had an immediate impact after its enactment, virtually eliminating the animal crushing industry and also successful in facilitating the prosecution of several key distributors of videos of dogfighting.
These gruesome depictions merit no protection under the First Amendment and, as our investigation shows, the federal law is the only tool available to crack down on this extreme form of animal cruelty.
Here are your thoughts on the matter:
Oh my God I had NO IDEA that such things even were being sold. This is completely shocking to me; I almost fell out of my chair reading this. How can this be legal still? God bless those state Attorneys General for stepping forward for the animals. Let's hope the court makes the right decision. —Jaime
I'm speechless and can barely see to type this email. Frankly, I had to skim your words quickly because the images conjured up are too ghastly to imagine. This is evil personified. God willing, the Supreme Court will see fit to do the right thing. I am often horrified by the cruelty that the HSUS has to deal with, but this takes the cake. You have a really tough and difficult job to do and we all appreciate that you don’t flinch from it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. —Ruth M. Gupta
Thank you for NOT showing the videos, Wayne. And thank you for your courage in viewing them yourself and for fighting this horrible, horrible, vicious, sick crime! —Mimi Milo
This is outright revolting and unbearable for these animals!!! There is no lawful excuse that can further be given for such outright torture! TORTURE, PERIOD. NO EXCUSES! What does it say about the justice system that they can let these people (if you can call them that) abuse life in this heinous way? This is an abuse of natural law of the highest order. Letting this continue is hoping that they do not move onto people. —Courtney
When I read this posting I cried. I have never heard of “crush videos,” and the very idea is so morally repugnant to most decent human beings that I'm stunned to think that a court agreed to strike down the law banning this. Thanks to the Humane Society and Wayne Pacelle for educating the public to this barbarity. Please keep the public updated on this case and educate us as to what we, as citizens, can do to stop this utter depravity. —Carol Gentz
This is the most despicable thing I have EVER heard of. —Desiree Reid
I believe that anyone who would enjoy or be "turned on" by something like this is a danger to society. I certainly hope the Supreme Court will show sound judgment in this case. How could anyone be so sick to want to do these things or to watch them for pleasure? Animal cruelty is on the same level as child pornography. Abuse of any innocent being cannot be tolerated in a civilized country. —Barbara
I have seen a lot of cruelty in my 44 years but nothing I have read about or seen has affected me as much as viewing a few crush videos—one with a puppy, one with a kitten and another with a rabbit. I could not get the images out of my mind for months. They are the worst form of intentional animal cruelty I have ever seen and the federal government should do everything in their power to stop them! —Karen Loveless
I noticed you pulled the video and more graphic pictures. I understand why you did this, but I think it is important that people gain the full picture of what is happening. The reality is that the pain and the sickness in your gut wears off eventually, but it leaves behind an important trace of disgust that is necessary for us to realize that the status quo is still not good enough, and that we need to continue fighting for change. —Adam Bailey
This truly makes me sick and disgusted! I am once again sickened that our government doesn't have laws that prohibit these sickening crimes. I have NEVER heard of crush videos and these monsters that make them, commit the acts and that purchase them should be punished. The government has to stop this and it needs to be done NOW! Wayne, I am sorry you and your investigators have to witness such horrific things. I know it is extremely difficult for all of you and each and every one of you has my utmost respect and admiration. Please, please continue fighting to end this sickening nightmare. I will continue to say my prayers for all animals. May God bless all of you at HSUS and the animals too! —Karen Wagner