Spanking is just like a choke chain or e-collar. They each have their places, with certain dogs/kids and owners/parents. Spanking is a tool, nothing more or less. Not appropriate for everyone, but not evil in and of itself.
I have never used an e-collar, and I have only once used a choke chain on my dogs.
I have never spanked my kids, I have slapped thier hands once or twice for things like touching stoves, where you cannot afford to let them make thier own mistakes. We used time outs, losing privilages. My kids rarely pushed the limits, they have always been good kids. When I was doing child care for 8 years, I only once spanked a child, and that was when he put my infant in danger during a temper tantrum.
I did make a child eat a sock once.
He stuffed a sock in his brother's mouth, so as a punishment I made him take off his sock and stuff it in his own mouth. The kids was a spoiled privileged brat, reminded me of a rich frat rugby player. He never did THAT again. I told him his punishment for torturing his brother was to have the same exact thing happen to him. He was much nicer after that. Nothing like a little forced empathy!
And yes, his mother knew about it. She said thank God someone was doing something about it.
Back to the topic, I don't like woodchucks, but damn, that is un-called for. That boy needs to get serious mental help, all indicators show kids who torture animals usually go on to humans.