THE US serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer graduated onto his most hellish crimes by first torturing and killing animals as a child.
And it was he who came to mind when I reported on a savage knife attack on a dog in Wigan the other day.
Tara, a Jack Russell-Alsatian cross, had escaped from a house in Platt Bridge, disappeared for a week to be picked up by a dog warden in Blackrod eight miles away.
She was alive, but her owner Maureen Way was horrified to discover that the pet’s reproductive organs had been mutilated with a blade.
The traumatised 12-year-old animal underwent extensive reconstructive surgery to internal organs and while she has physically survived her ordeal, Maureen is sure she will never be the same again.
The question any right-thinking person is immediately prompted to ask is “what kind of person does that sort of thing?”
It alarmed me even more to hear that the vet reckoned that at least two people were involved in inflicting these horrific injuries, with one of them holding down the terrified dog.
A second question is “what twisted pleasure must these people get from committing such a repellent act?” And as Maureen herself said to me, if they are capable of doing that to a living animal, is it too much a leap to imagine that next time their victims might be human?
Dahmer is of course the most extreme of examples, but those who attacked Tara have already entered realms beyond most folk’s worst nightmares.
If anyone knows who was responsible for this heinous act, for goodness’s sake, tell the police now before they strike again.