Montana Representative’s proposal could further endanger abused animals

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Montana state representative Rep. Theresa Manzella (R-Darby) has proposed a law where animal shelters would need permission from the accused to take in and care for the animals in abuse cases.

Manzella claims shelter and humane staff have too much authority now in taking in animals from these cases. But those opposed to her proposal fear animal abusers could use the provisions to block even law enforcement officials from seizing animals.

The story ran Saturday on the Ravalli Republic website. The fear also is that shelters will shy away from taking in seized dogs, even when law enforcement brings them in.

A concern I have is for dog-fighting cases. Are the dog fighters going to be able to keep their dogs, as the case works its way through the courts? I think the welfare of the abuse animals needs to be a greater concern.

The actual text of the proposal is not included in the article. If the wording has any holes in it, the abusers will take full advantage.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Wacky Mentality Award: Judge G. Todd Baugh

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It’s a bit off the beaten path for this blog, but I have to award a Wacky Mentality Award to Montana Judge G. Todd Baugh.

He is the judge who sentenced a rapist to 30 days in prison for an act perpetrated against a 14-year-old girl. Baugh’s initial statement suggested the girl had as much control over the situation as the rapist. It is beyond belief that a judge, who should be on bench to protect the innocent, would make such an asinine statement.

And of course, handing down such as weak sentence is a slap in the face to victims of sexual violence everywhere.

But now, Baugh is backtracking and is calling for a new sentencing hearing. He suddenly suggests that state law requires a two-year mandatory minimum prison term in cases such as this.

So he’s a judge and didn’t know this during  the initial sentencing. Was he so quick to let the rapist off the hook with a slap on the wrist that he failed to look up basic sentencing guidelines? – Really? At least we might see justice better served in the coming days.

Our criminal justice system needs a big overall, with a mission to protect the innocent.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic