The saga of Nosey the Circus Elephant is back in the limelight, with dissident voices getting louder. Despite nearly 200 animal welfare violations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently renewed Hugo Liebel's license, so the ailing animal can be exploited for human entertainment, decries People for Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA.
Until this law was passed, there was no distinction between a car and a cat in terms of legal rights. Anyone who has ever lived with a pet knows that animals experience emotions and feel both physical and psychological pain, but this is the first time in North America that these basic truths have been entrenched in law.
One of my dogs still waits for me at the front door until I get home. While I cannot understand why an individual would want to harm any animal in the way described above, I also do not think that is a question open for debate. There are numerous shelters and rescue organizations out there who would gladly offer to take your animal on an anonymous basis.