The past couple of weeks have been filled with animal horror stories. A man convicted of feeding live kittens to his dog, a former All White attacked by a dog, two men allegedly executing a neighbour’s numerous dogs – all horrific and extremely distressing to those involved.

Some have called for better education of owners.

But as one commentator noted, this would be about as useful as running advertisements aimed at the dogs themselves.

Violence towards animals, research shows, is often a precursor of violence towards humans. Increasing the penalties towards these types of offender is just one way Government can try and stop this contemptible behaviour. Animal control laws are also due for an overhaul.

Finding a way to control dogs and their owners is never easy, but something has to be found to stop the unnecessary attacks and cruelty.