Older age ought to be a period of rest, reflection, and retirement for all of us — including wizened, aged beings like innocent Michelangelo, a 70-year-old elderly tortoise.
Adopted by a preschool class and named after one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo has lived at Play 'N' Learn for four years after a rescue group saved him from death. By that point, he was already well into his 60s and should have been able to count on getting a little peace and quiet.
Then, a man named George Robles from San Jose, California broke into the school. And he abused the powerless animal nearly to the point death
.Sign the petition to demand justice now!
Michelangelo is an African sulcata tortoise, about 65-pounds sturdy. His species evolved to be extremely hardy in the face of danger, such that they can withstand even attacks from giant, powerful predators like lions. And yet — Michelangelo was no match for this man.
Robles used multiple different weapons to beat Michelangelo, including glass and wood, hitting him so hard it pierced his shell. Authorities even discovered a chunk of wood used to stab the animal
, which went right through his tough exterior and lodged itself there. The bleeding was so bad
, experts say he would have bled to death if a neighbor hadn't heard the ruckus and called authorities quickly.
A gracious animal hospital is taking care of the poor, beaten animal for free and is hoping he will survive and heal. But just because Michelangelo is in good hands now, doesn't mean we shouldn't hold his perpetrator accountable. In fact, after George Robles was arrested and released, he intentionally sought out the tortoise again.
Once free, he broke into the preschool a second time, looking for Michelangelo. One can only imagine it was to "finish the job."
On top of this, we know from ample research that animal abuse often precedes violence or abuse against other humans. So it's of the utmost importance that George Robles be held fully accountable for his violent, heartless crime against a helpless school pet.This type of abuse and cruelty should never be tolerated. Sign the petition!