Tragedy Turns To Triumph For Dog Attack Victim And Abused Dog In “S

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Ready to be inspired? Watch the moving film of one woman’s (and one adorable dog’s) effort to make the world a better place and shed light on animal abuse.

Turning personal tragedy into triumph, North Carolina native Donna Lawrence is the driving force behind her state’s “Susie’s Law” and the resultant stiffer penalties that have been doled out to animal abusers since it was introduced in 2010. She is also the central figure in a made for DVD movie that will be released January 5, 2016 with sale proceeds going to benefit the Susie’s Hope Non-profit charity, to raise awareness of animal abuse.

This law Lawrence fought so hard to introduce succeeded in raising the penalty from misdemeanor to Class H felony for anyone who “maliciously” kills or causes to be killed an animal by “intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance”. Also receiving a much heavier penalty is any person who would “maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison…” you get the sad and ugly picture. In a nutshell, you harm animals in North Carolina and thanks to Lawrence, you’re going to pay the price.

Related: FBI Deems Animal Cruelty A Top Tier Crime

So what prompted her to take up the cause for stricter penalties for animal cruelty? It was a little Pitbull-mix puppy named Susie who was badly beaten, burned and left for dead by one LaShawn Whitehead. Despite a veterinarian’s recommendation to euthanize the critically injured puppy, Lawrence adopted the pooch and raised the funds to cover her extensive treatments.

What made the story so inspiring was that Lawrence herself was a victim of a Pitbull attack just months earlier that nearly took her life, caused her to miscarry and left her unable to have children. She understood that neglect and abuse of that dog were to blame for the attack and that Susie too, was one more victim of abuse.

Related: Logan’s Law Will Mandate Animal Abusers Registry, Tougher Penalties

Together the two set out to seek justice and protection for other animals in North Carolina and after establishing Susie’s Law, they began attending events, visiting schools, churches and other organizations to tell their story. The charity also produces life-like Susie’s Hope plush animals with embroidered scars, which serve as an educational tool. And in 2014, Susie was named the 2014 American Humane Association Therapy Dog and the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog.

So what happened to LaShawn Whitehead? The creep received a mere 4-6 month sentence for “burning personal property” and a 4-5 month suspended sentence for animal cruelty. With the FBI’s recent announcement that it recognizes the link between animal abuse and violent crimes and will begin tracking these types of cases on a national basis in 2016, one can only hope that Whitehead and others like him will be closely monitored (think white on rice) so no one else suffers at his hands.

You can learn more about Susie’s Hope Nonprofit, the movie and watch the trailer on the film’s official website. The DVD is available on Amazon and will be in Walmart stores nationwide beginning January 5, 2016.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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