Another very weak sentence handed down for severe animal cruelty

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A man who pleaded guilty last month to felony dog fighting charges in Alabama will serve only nine months jail and then a year of house arrest. And four years probation was tacked on, along with 100 hours of community service at an animal shelter.

To add insult to injury for the dogs he severely abused, the court will allow him to possess animals again after his probation period.

So only nine months of real punishment and then he can go right back to abusing dogs again. I cannot fathom why our criminal justice system continues to hand out these slap-on-the-wrist sentences and then agrees to put more animals at risk, after a very short period of time.

It is time to impose automatic, lifetime bans on animal abusers.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Another case where no consideration is given to the victims

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I am stunned with the regularity of news stories where people guilty of serious crimes are given very light punishment – in cases of cruelty to animals and humans.

It has happened again, this time in Ohio, where a trio of family member had hundreds of charges of animal cruelty dropped. The puppy mill was raided in November of last year and reports a veterinarian involved in the raid said she was shocked at how bad the conditions were.

So what the did the court system do, in response to the reported horrible conditions the accused forced the animal to live in? After hundreds of charges were dropped, one was sentenced for disorderly conduct, fines of $250 and a 30-day jail sentence (which could be dropped if the fines are paid). Another family member got one charge of animal cruelty and 90 days in jail and a $250 fine (that sentence could be suspended if she gets a mental health evaluation and pays the fines).

The final member of the trio got one animal cruelty charge and 90 days jail sentence, which could be dropped.

And the judge tells them they can’t have animals for two years. What do criminals have to do get the book thrown at them? Some end up serving time. But too often the penalties are extremely weak, as is the case in this case. And really? – A two-year ban on having animals? The ban should be for life in cases like this – period.

And what about the victims? When will the courts show more concern for the victims?


Dallas prosecutor gets Pack of Justice Award for great quote

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I wish we could see this news story repeated all over the country. Thanks to a great donation, Dallas County (Texas) will get an Animal Cruelty Unit to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse to animals.

In a Dallas Morning News story, prosecutor Heath Harris was quoted as saying –

We want people to know that if you abuse our four-legged citizens we are going to come down on you.

The group Safer Dallas Better Dallas helped raise the funds and donated the money to the county, for the two-person cruelty unit. I hope Harris’ strong words are a sign the area is serious about coming down hard on these criminals.

What a great idea. I hope more counties will fund these units.

An article noted the funds are for one year, but the county commissioners want to keep the program going.


Two more cases of very weak sentencing for dog fighting

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In Missouri last week, a man charged with dog fighting pleaded guilty to one count, as part of a plea deal to reduce the number from four original counts. His punishment for this horrible crime? – A three-year suspended sentence, a $3,000 fine and five years of probation.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch story also reports he cannot ‘own’ or live in a residence with a dog, but it does not indicate if this only for the probation period. Once again, a VERY weak sentence for taking part in the torture of animals.

And in the Bronx, NY, a man pleaded guilty to taking part in a major dog-fighting operation. He was sentenced to one to three years in prison for animal fighting and one year for animal cruelty. But he will serve them concurrently.

He is only barred from having animals during the period of his parole, as reported by the North Country Gazette. For one thing, who in their right mind would think a person guilty of dog fighting should ever be able to be around animals?

He be out in no time and dogs will again be at risk. And the other dog fighters who see how lenient the courts are will continue to torture animals.


This story reflects one key reason why dog fighting still exists

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Why is dog fighting still a major problem in this country? One key answer to this question is the fact that the punishment for this horrible crime is too often very, very weak.

Case in point – Shelby County, Ohio, where a father, mother and son are set to be sentenced for dog fighting. reports the maximum sentence each one them faces is 90 days in jail and as much as a $750 fine. To his credit, the County Sheriff is seeking over $27,000, to cover the cost of the investigation and the care of the dogs.

Realize that they will not serve the full 90 days, on top of the fine being a joke. And I will be surprised to hear that they’ve actually been forced to pay the restitution.

This penalty is less than a slap on the wrist to people who have the mental capacity to torture animals. When will our state legislatures, our federal government and our judicial system understand this? Who could possible think this weak level of punishment is appropriate?


Pack of News from the odd side of the room

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Just when you thought you’d heard it all ….: A dog in Tennessee was turned over recently to a shelter to be euthanized because he was gay. The man who dropped him off reportedly saw him mount anther male dog and thought that meant he was gay.

Can we now push for an improved education system nationally? Can we teach common sense and logic in K-through-12 and in college?

Thankfully, he was pulled from the shelter and adopted before being killed, as reported by ABC News. But there is another layer to to the story. I was a bit stunned to learn that the shelter is called “Jackson Rabies Control,” in Jackson, Tenn. Now there’s a shelter that needs a name change. It’s great to focus on rabies as a health issue, but calling your animal shelter “Rabies Control” sounds as though helping the animals find homes is way down the list.

Report – Walmart employee fired for helping stray dog: When a starving puppy wondered into a Walmart store in Oregon, an employee reportedly tried to help the little dog.

But one of her bosses told her to take the puppy back outside. When the employee suggested she was going call a rescue group to pick up the little dog, she was told to leave the store.

And this one is bit more complex: An Indiana couple faces legal peril for nursing an injured deer back to health. When they found the injured deer, they were reportedly told by an official with the state’s Department of Natural Resources to leave it to die in the woods.

Instead, the couple took it home to save it’s life. Now they face jail time a fine for doing so, as it is technically against the law to take in wildlife in this way.

A couple of things to note hear. One – a licensed wildlife rehabilitator should have been called in. If the DNR official did tell the couple to leave the deer in the woods to suffer a slow death, they are in the wrong for doing so.

Two – I do understand the reasons behind turning citizens away from trying to nurse wild animals they find who are injured or sick. It is best to let trained people take over. But on the other hand, how is it illegal to help an injured animal, but fully legal to shoot it dead?


Another case showing the link between animal cruelty and attacks on humans

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Another case of someone moving from acts of cruelty to animals to abusing other human beings may be unfolding in New Jersey.

CBS News reports a 19-year-old man has been charged with stabbing a mother who was shopping with her infant child. She was stabbed 20 times and at last report was in stable condition in a hospital. The same individual who attacked this woman was reportedly arrested last month for setting a cat on fire, one he purchased online. He has been charged with attempted murder in this latest case.

Clearly, there is a link between abusing animals and abusing humans. We’ve seen too many cases where evil criminals start out by horribly torturing animals. Our criminal justice system has go to get serious about these crimes. The continual and constant chain of very weak punishment only encourages this behavior. The criminals don’t even consider it a slap on the wrist. They consider it a pat on the back and a welcome mat to engage in more abuse.

And we’ve got to stop charging people with “attempted murder.” Anyone who tries to kill someone intended for the victim to die. The attacker should not get off easy because the victim held on and did not die.


Pack News Topic: Puppy Mills

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Two alleged puppy mills shut down: More than 50 dogs were rescued this week from  an alleged puppy mill in Minden, N.Y. In Denver, Colo., approximately 35 dogs are recovering after being rescued from a similar situation last month.

Ohio breeder turns over dogs after passage of new regulations: A Holmes County, Ohio breeder turned over 26 dogs to a local rescue group in December, after the passage of Senate Bill 130, which introduced fees and better standards of care for mass-breeding operations in the state. reports there are about 500 puppy mills in Holmes County. This is horrible. When are the people who are still buying puppies over the Web or in stores finally going to educate themselves. Puppy mills can only exist because some people are still closed off to the facts.

Breeder sentence to 30 years in prison, but 25 years is suspended: Animal-welfare advocates are applauding the long sentence given to a Montana puppy mill breeder. One was quoted by KRTV as stating this is the highest level of punishment for an animal cruelty case in the state’s history.

Police found 140 sick and injured malamutes and 200 marijuana plants on the breeder’s property. – Just neglecting the dogs and getting high. What a winner this guy is.

I’ve also read where he won’t be allowed to have pets over the course of the sentence. Why not just ban these people from even being around animals for life in these cases? This wasn’t a mistake. He tortured animals.

HBO sued concerning treatment of horses during the filming of the series “Luck”

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Isn’t it bad enough that horses are abused in horse racing? Did a series about horse racing have to go this route – allegedly at least?

A lawsuit charges a number of horses were drugged, underweight and sick during the production of the show. And the Guardian reports this – “” Barbara Casey’s suit filed Monday says she was wrongfully fired from her post at the American Humane Association after complaining about the conditions horses faced on the show … “” And it is claimed that four horses died during the filming.

Maybe we need movie based on the treatment of horses in the racing industry.

The New York Times ArtsBeat blog also has a post about this news.

Puppy mill manager handed very light punishment

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The news on the topic of puppy mills is pouring into the Pack News Wire in-box. Today, let’s look into a horrible ruling in the Hawaiian puppy mill case:

Puppy mill manager in Hawaii given very light sentence: The manager of a dog-breeding facility in Hawaii was sentence this week to only six months in jail, on 153 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. (For one thing, the terms ‘misdemeanor’ and ‘animal cruelty’ to do not match up.)The prosecutor in the case had requested five consecutive one-year jail terms, a fine him $306,000 and an order for the accused to repay the Hawaiian Humane Society a sum of $370,701.

Circuit Judge Glenn Kim was quoted in a Star Advertiser article as saying – “What this means is that the trial of this single misdemeanor case, a case less legally serious than that of a person accused of shoplifting a $301 pair of sunglasses, would have almost certainly cost the taxpayers more dollars and consumed more scarce judicial resources than any other trial in recent memory.”

This statement disqualifies Kim to be a judge. If he believes the suffering of 153 dogs is “less legally serious” than shoplifting, then he has a serious case of logic deprivation. No one who makes a comparison like this should be allowed to judge criminal or civil court cases.

And if that wasn’t enough, Kim also stated restitution to the Humane Society was not appropriate because the organization was not a victim in the case. Of course, that was not the point. The cost were incurred due to the defendant’s actions. Kim is living in the 1600s and he gets a special Pack of Putrid Punditry Award.