Another weak sentence for animal cruelty – in a puppy-mill case

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I continue to be stunned by the support some facets of our legal system shows for those who engage in acts of cruelty to animals. I use the phrase ‘support’ because some courts refuse to make the punishment fit the crime.

I also blame state legislatures across the nation and the federal government for refusing to enact real sentencing guidelines that put abusers behind bars, with life-time bans on possessing animals.

And it has happened again. A Nebraska puppy-mill operator has been sentence (if you can call it that) to two-years probation and will only be barred from possessing dogs for two years.

The Journal Star reports the following about the puppy-miller, since 2006:

Nebraska Department of Agriculture inspection reports dating back to then show a pattern of neglect and violations, including animals living in their own urine and feces, overcrowding, sharp wire in enclosures, improperly secured animals and too few employees.

The guilty party will have to pay veterinary bills amassed for the care of the rescued dogs. At least the suffering victims get that.

But the report by the Journal Star offers more troubling information, which highlights how weak current regulations really are, along with some very poor enforcement.

Back in January, the Department of Agriculture turned the breeder in to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. Some of the breeder’s dogs were taken away. She was given until July 1 to downsize to no more than 18 adult dogs. WHY? Why allow someone who has been found to be abusing animals to keep ANY animals.

This should never be allowed to happen anywhere. This case alone should be a red flag for every state in the country. Animal abuse on the level described in the story should be grounds for an immediate seizure of all animals on the property – certainly through the trial of the accused.

The article noted 19 of the dogs taken in this case had various ailments that included – “open weeping sores, infections, overgrown nails, matted hair, bad teeth, fistulas, hernias from repeatedly giving birth and lower jaws rotted completely away due to infection.”

How could anyone suggest it was okay to leave animals behind, to suffer for months – or even a few more hours – in these conditions. Those in positions of authority need to step forward to change this system and put some truly strong regulations in place.


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