@ Two young male Deshler students, 17 and 16 have been arrested for this cruelty. It does not matter if an animal is wild or domestic, if you are brutal to an animal, you need to be charged and go to jail.

According to this two idiots, who for now will remain anonymous, since they are juveniles, they thought the opossum really had no value to society, thus his life was worthless. They could kill it in a brutal way, while filming it and then put it on the Internet to show just how brave and superior to the possum they were. I really don’t think they expected the reception they got from the video. At this point in time of their little Oh! Shit! moment, I don’t believe shit flies would want to be around them.


Over 60 species of opossum exist throughout the Americas. Although most live in Central and South America, one species, the Virginia or common opossum (Didelphis Virginiana), calls the United States and Canada home. The opossum, also called simply a possum, is the only marsupial living in Canada and the contiguous United States. These versatile animals are widespread and comfortable in a variety of climates and habitats, including areas heavily populated with humans. it is frequently perceived more as a giant, dirty, scavenging rat rather than a cute creature of the wild.

Diet and Habitat

Opossums are omnivores, and they’re not picky eaters — they generally eat anything they can catch. These scavengers are attracted to carrion, and are frequently seen raiding dumpsters and garbage cans near human dwellings. They particularly enjoy snakes. Opossums have superpowers against snakes. They have partial or total immunity to the venom produced by rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and other pit vipers. and, being immune to snake venom, eat all species.

Possums prefer wooded areas or farmland with water nearby, but they can adapt to most any surroundings. These transient creatures don’t have any attachment to a particular den, sleeping in whatever place is convenient and offers reasonable protection. Their normal diet consists of carrion, rodents, insects, snails, slugs, birds, eggs, frogs, plants, fruits and grains. They also eat human food, table scraps, dog food and cat food. They have an unusually high need for calcium, which incites them to eat the skeletons of rodents and road kill they consume. They’re the sanitation workers of the wild.  Since their diet allows them to indulge on snails, slugs and beetles, they are a welcome addition to the garden. Opossums also keep rats and cockroaches at bay by competing with them for food. In fact, it’s common for opossums to kill cockroaches and rats if they find them in their territory. If you leave food outside for your pets, they will come to your house and eat what your pet left in the bowl. This is probably why the possum was in this teenagers yard, as they leave food out for their pet, I was told.


Opossums are primarily solitary and nocturnal creatures, although younger ones are occasionally seen during the day. Females may be seen with their young, or foraging with other females, but males are territorial loners and associate with females only during mating. The opossum’s most well-known behavior relates to the way the animal reacts when threatened.

Opossums run, growl, belch, urinate and defecate. And when all else fails, they “play ‘possum” and act as if they are dead. It is an involuntary response (like fainting) rather than a conscious act. They roll over, become stiff, close their eyes (or stare off into space) and bare their teeth as saliva foams around the mouth and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from glands. The catatonic state can last for up to four hours, and has proven effective as a deterrent to predators looking for a hot meal.    If a possum encounters a predator, it falls over and enters a near-catatonic state, even emitting a strong odor. This act of “playing dead” temporarily confuses the predator, and since most animals avoid carrion, the predator leaves the opossum alone, giving it a chance to escape. (THIS IS WHAT THIS OPOSSUM WAS DOING WHEN STOMPED TO DEATH)

They are totally non-aggressive and will not bite unless you just force your finger into their mouth.

The above information was given so when a possum come into your territory you know that he or she do a lot of beneficial things and should be left to do their job. Chances are they are simply looking for food and will not harm you or your pet.

The Video showed up on my I-Phone from Anthony Wilbanks, Animal Cruelty Investigator for Colbert County, Alabama. Anthony does not send me a video unless it is something that is of such nature that even he is taken aback.

He asked me to view the video. but warned me that it was extremely violent and that he needed to get this out to the public in an attempt to find the person or persons who did what I was about to watch.

I turned the video on and saw lying on the ground  a small white furry ball. At first I could not recognize what it was, then I realized it was a small, probably young possum. It was lying at the feet of what appeared to be a human male. The male then lifted his foot and came down on the side of the jaw of the possum. The possum recoiled from the blow, and as the foot pulled back, you could see the person’s foot had crushed the jaw of the possum, but did not damage the skull or eye socket with this blow. The next forceful stomp crushed the side of the face and skull of the possum, all the while you could hear the person, who sounded like a young male saying something, but could not make it out.

The next forceful stomp and the next and the next, each coming faster and harder begin totally to crush the possum’s head, splattering blood, meat, teeth, nose bone, crushed eye everywhere on the ground. You could tell by the force and sound he was making, that he was enjoying the torture and stomping of this helpless animal.  I was taken aback and felt sick to my stomach as I watched such cruelty displayed.

The video and word spread fast throughout this North Alabama community and the surrounding cities. Everyone, who saw this became alarmed that we had someone in our community that could have such a personality and cruel streak in them.

The concern then became one of finding this person or persons who did this before they did this again and again and again to another animal or stepped up to doing this to another human being.

Research has consistently reported childhood cruelty to animals as the “first warning sign of later delinquency, violence, and criminal behavior.”  In fact, nearly all violent crime perpetrators have a history of animal cruelty in their profile.  Albert deSalvo, the Boston Strangler who killed at least 13 women, shot arrows through dogs and cats he trapped as a child.  Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold boasted about mutilating animals for fun.

Whether it’s pulling the legs off of a bug or sitting on top of a puppy, we struggle to understand why any child would mistreat an animal.  And when should we worry?  Where’s the line between a budding serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer and normal curiosity and experimentation?

No one does anything without a motive. What could possibly be the motive to do such an act?

Most commonly, children who abuse animals have either witnessed or experienced abuse themselves.  Statistics show 30 percent of children who have witnessed domestic violence in their household, act out a similar type of violence against their own pets or someone else’s.

In fact, the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence is so well-known that many U.S. communities now cross-train social-service and animal-control agencies in how to recognize signs of animal abuse as possible indicators of other abusive behaviors. Animal Control Investigator Anthony Wilbanks recognized this sign immediately and saw the the urgency to find whoever did this and take him into custody.

While childhood and adolescent motives for animal cruelty suggest a number of additional developmentally related motivations:

  • “Curiosity or exploration (i.e., the animal is injured or killed in the process of being examined, usually by a young or developmentally delayed child).

  • Peer pressure (e.g., peers may encourage animal abuse or require it as part of an initiation rite).

  • Mood enhancement (e.g., animal abuse is used to relieve boredom or some other emotion.)

  • Sexual gratification (i.e., bestiality).

  • Forced abuse (i.e., the child is coerced into animal abuse by a more powerful individual).

  • The child kills an animal to prevent its torture by another individual.

  • Animal phobias (that cause a preemptive attack on a feared animal).

  • Identification with the child’s abuser (e.g., a victimized child may try to regain a sense of power by victimizing a more vulnerable animal).

  • Postraumatic play (i.e., reenacting violent episodes with an animal victim from a movie, video or book they had seen.

  • Imitation (i.e., copying a parent’s or other adult’s abusive discipline of animals.

  • Self Injury (i.e., using an animal to inflict injuries on the child’s own body).

  • Rehearsal for interpersonal violence (i.e., “practicing” violence on stray animals or pets before engaging in violent acts against other people).

  • Vehicle for emotional abuse (for example, injuring a brother or sister’s  pet to frighten or get back at them.

Animal Cruelty Investigator Wilbanks got a break this week on this case. He now after many hours of working this case knows who did the act and who else was involved. These individuals are juveniles so their names can not be released at this time. Once they have been picked up, the “Stomper” as we will call him, is going to be charged with felony animal cruelty. The other with being involved. We have withheld the name of the school of these two until told by Anthony that it is okay !to release the information.

Wilbanks had been interviewing and talking to several people for days, when someone decided to tell him what they knew. In my conversation with him, he found one thing that really stood out during these interviews and should disturb everyone. Just how many refused to tell what they knew. Some of the teenagers interviewed knew more than they were saying, but were afraid to be called a snitch. Some were willing to talk, but their parents would not allow them too.

The real question is why were the parents circling the wagons to prevent the person who did this from being arrested for such a cruel act?

Research into such personality issues has given it a name.

The Conduct-Disordered Abuser:  (12+)  Teens who abuse animals almost always engage in other antisocial behaviors -such as substance abuse, gang activities, Sometimes the animal abuse is in conjunction with a deviant peer group (an initiation rite or as a result of peer pressure). Other times it is to achieve a sense of control over something.

What to do:  Get professional help immediately.  If possible, enlist the support of friends, family members, even teachers.

The Bottom Line

Every act of violence committed against an animal is not a sign that a person is going to turn out to be a homicidal maniac.  Particularly with young children, whose natural exuberance and curiosity can lead to some unpleasant experiences for their pets, it is fine to shrug off an occasional lapse in judgment while continuing to educate the child about humane animal treatment.

However, locking a pet inside a closed space, violently lashing out at a pet after getting in trouble with a parent, or taking pleasure in watching an animal in pain are all “red flags” that signal the need for professional intervention.

This is particularly true when the child has the cognitive maturity to understand that what s/he is doing is wrong – and repeatedly does it anyway.

: News

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