I have never understood people who are cruel to animals, whether it's the tiniest creatures or the larger varieties. It just doesn't make sense, but I guess there are a lot of things in this world that don't make much sense.

Reading an article online from the Austin Daily Herald last week I wasn't really surprised to read about a certain situation. A local teen ran over a skunk on purpose and witnesses reported him. Now the teen could be facing charges of animal cruelty. Do I think the teen should suffer some repercussions? Yes, but I don't think the legal system should be too hard on him. Hopefully this teen will learn a lesson, and likely, he already feels bad.

From my own personal history, I know that some teenagers and some adults - for whatever crazy reason - have run over animals on purpose. It is cruel and unnecessary, especially when one knows it is likely someone's pet.

I don't think people killing animals on purpose is something that will ever change, but I wish it would. The decision boils down to the character of the person behind the wheel.

I am a lover of all animals. I have been known to stop on a city street for frolicking squirrels to safely run across. Of course, I look in my rearview mirror to make sure I won't cause a traffic accident. This gives me peace of mind that I have bought the squirrel at least one more day - or more than likely one more hour - on this earth. Squirrels are known for darting out into traffic.

When I see a stray dog or cat on the side of the road or about to cross the road, I reduce my speed to not hit it and honk to get it to divert from its dangerous course. This was the case last week with a larger black dog trying to cross Highway 63. It was still trying to cross the road but was still alive when I last saw him or her.

I have never hit a dog, which I am thankful for, but I have accidentally hit a couple of cats. Although it couldn't be avoided at the time, I found myself upset for that cat I didn't even know. It affected me because in my mind there was likely a little boy or girl that would be missing the cat and grieving the loss.

I just don't understand when people run over animals intentionally. These animals already have such a short time on this earth; why not let them enjoy it? All animals should be treated with respect and not subjected to undue cruelty.

So when driving down the road, please think before you react, and be respectful of all God's creatures.