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Wednesday, September 6,2017

Florida Teens Take Kind Actions for Suffering Ray

(and Get Arrested for their Compassion)

By Susan Hargreaves  


Compassionate Florida Teens Honored at Pier by

The recent horrific shark dragging viral video sent shockwaves over the internet and sparked outrage; currently has a petition on asking officials to enforce the felony animal cruelty law.

Yet in Daytona Beach on the first day of the local high schools’ summer holiday, teens showed consistent compassion as they pulled out all of the stops in their attempt to save the life of a 50-60 year old ray. They saw a ray being dragged out of the ocean by fishing line and a treble hook which was lodged under his or her eye, the ray tried to struggle free as he or she was suspended from the pier. They pleaded with the man who was hanging and then dragging the ray to release him or her back to the sea. A group of 200 beach goers gathered to also try to convince him, and to try to stop the rays’ evident suffering.

The lifeguard lent one of the teens a bucket so he could rehydrate the ray with salt water. The compassion these teens felt for this ray was evidenced by the lengths they went to stop the evident distress displayed by the suffocating (in the human equivalency) ray. Children were crying. The beach patrol came and arrested the teens - the charges had no real basis and were dropped before going to court.

When I watched the video of the teens’ struggle to do the right thing in the United Kingdoms’ Daily Mirror I knew I had to find these brave, kind teens and recognize them for their compassionate action.

So, the day before they returned to school I met them at the same pier and congratulated them for recognizing the injustice and suffering of this magnificent sea creature.

"I saw an animal suffering, and it didn´t matter what kind of animal. The children were crying. And I had to try to stop it." said Tristan Overholser, one of 3 teens honored with the Courageous Animal Hero Teen Award.

I was gratified to give recognition to these three all American surfer teens who were punished earlier for their heroism by being arrested and put in handcuffs for trying to halt a crime against nature in progress.

It is heartening after almost four decades of struggling to stop animal abuse to meet youth who are doing the right thing. They simply reacted to help an animal in pain and distress.

We need exactly this type of kind bravery these teens have shown, now more than ever.

Susan Hargreaves is the woman behind Animal Hero Kids, an all-volunteer charity educating, empowering and recognizing kind youth.


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