Hamster-Murdering Fugitive Finally Apprehended
Bushwick hamster owners can finally rest easy.
The American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does not fuck around. If you pet your dog in an aggressive manner, or forget to change your cat’s litter box, they will likely jam you up in legal proceedings for the rest of your life. It’s their job. They’re here to protect and serve, and no pet is too small.
The ASPCA has a sixth sense for animal pain, whether it be an owl getting punted off a soccer pitch or not putting good enough cheese in the mouse trap. You’d rather have a SWAT team kicking down your door than an animal rights group politely knocking.
Last June, in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Smith family had a fun-filled day of animal abuse, featuring not one, but two hamster deaths.
The conflict began when Teresa Smith’s 9-year-old son’s pet hamster, Princess Stephanie, was innocently rolling around in it’s exercise ball when an enraged 25-year-old confused it with a soccer ball.
“He kicked it deliberately, the ball flew across the room, the hamster flew out of the ball, and it died,” Ms. Smith said.
Kinda brutal, right? Well, the Smiths were just getting warmed up.
After the older son cooled his jets he went out and bought his little brother three hamsters to replace the one he accidentally kicked into the great hamster farm in the sky. Which is precisely when another member of the Smith family got the itch for some hamster hate. The 19-year-old Monique allegedly grabbed one of the three recently purchased hamsters, named Sweetie, and slammed it on the floor, killing it instantly.
The medical examiner’s necropsy report shows that Sweetie died from blunt force trauma and liver failure.
Monique’s 9 year-old little brother called the ASPCA reporting the crime the same day, and she has been on the lam ever since—that is until this Tuesday, when the single-borough manhunt finally ended.
According to the New York Times:
“This was on June 7, 2010. Tuesday night at 7, after a nine-month hunt for a suspect they described as evasive and uncooperative, law enforcement agents from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals arrested Monique Smith, 19, along Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick.”
The 19 year-old Smith has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, torturing animals, and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted Smith could face up to two years in jail, which would be more than Michael Vick faced for his crimes against the canine kingdom.
I think we’re all in agreement that hurting animals is a major ethical faux pas, and the brutal manner in which Smith killed the hamster is regrettable and deserves a good talking to—but a felony and two misdemeanors, and a maximum of two years in jail? Is that a tad bit too extreme? What’s next, an 8 year-old getting arrested for eating a worm, or someone getting charged with genocide for killing a bee’s nest?
Let me remind you that a hamster is really nothing more than a domesticated rat—you know, those disgusting things that carry disease and creep people out in the subways. It’s a member of the rodent family, with a life expectancy of merely three years and an average price of roughly five dollars.
I’m sure Princess Stephanie and Sweetie were well loved, wonderfully behaved hamsters, who were full of life and sadly never reached their full potential. But at the end of the day they are still rodents—really cool rodents who are long overdue for a great cartoon adaptation—but still rodents.