What should the penalty be for wantonly abusing a shark for ego and social media giggles? We’re about to find out:
Nearly five months after video surfaced on social media of a shark being dragged by a speeding boat, three men are facing animal abuse charges as a result of the investigation sparked by public outrage.
Robert Lee “Bo” Benac, 28, Michael Wenzel, 21, and Spencer Heintz, 23, have each been charged with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty, a third-degree felony, according to a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Tuesday. Benac and Wenzel also face one count of illegal method of take of a shark, a second-degree misdemeanor.
If ever there was a moment to draw a clear, bright line regarding animal cruelty, and to set an example that says abusing sharks will come with (severe) consequences, this is it. Hope they throw the book at them and win convictions that count.
One thought on “Shark Dragging Is Cruel (And A Crime)”
What a relief that Florida Fish and Wildlife took this case seriously, instead of dismissing it as a youthful prank — and hopefully the courts will follow suit. The tragic thing is that jail or a fine won’t “fix” these psychologically disturbed men (because what healthy person tortures animals to death for fun?). But at least now they’re on the radar for law enforcement in their community, so that’s something. Thank you for sharing this update, Tim.