The comments under the story were predictable: (a) that the owner of the dog should be chained to a tree for four years and (b) people should be more concerned about abused children and not get so wrought up about a dog.
There's one of these stories every now and then; the follow-up articles announce that a record number of people have offered to adopt the abused animal. These stories stick with me for a long time, and always involve my wondering why the abuse was permitted to go on for so long a time.
My belief is that when God gave mankind dominion over the animals, that wasn't just power over them, but also a responsibility to care for them, to be kind to them, and not to abuse them.
Today is a day set aside to honor St. Francis. The church where I work and the church where I worship are each holding a "blessing of the animals" service. Joe and I were speculating about what it might mean to "bless" animals. "Bless" means to ask God to look favorably upon.
I'd rather see the emphasis be on our looking favorably upon animals, our having the courage to intervene when we become aware of an abusive situation.