As our society progresses in becoming more aware of our impact on other species, it is fortunate that the plight of animals in abusive and neglectful situations is being diligently addressed and combated. County and statewide laws that require convicted animal abusers to register are being instated and ideally the entire nation can one day share in this information to keep animals out of the hands of these criminals.
Every year, over 1,900 cases of animal abuse are reported with a staggering nationwide average of 75% of these involving repeat offenders! One judge in Painesville, Ohio has decided that these lawbreakers should be dealt with using alternative methods…and we are all for it!
Judge Michael Cicconetti has had a love for animals that began in his childhood with his families dog and continues today. After years of hearing cases and doling out fines and jail time, he realized that he was repeatedly seeing the same offenders in his courtroom. It seemed a new approach would be needed that was within the limits of the law to keep people from continuing their horrific actions.
Now his creative methods in the sentencing of first time offending animal abuse cases are carefully tailored to the individual crimes, hoping to deter the abusers from ever inflicting pain on animals again. His goal is to provide enough shame and discomfort to the abusers so that they can experience a small bit of what they’ve subjected the animals to.
Some of the punishments Judge Cicconetti has sentenced convicts to include:
- A woman who dumped 35 kittens in a wooded area was sentenced to spend the night in the forest with no food, water or entertainment, forced to listen to the unknown dangers that lurked in the darkness around her all night.
- A man who called a police officer a “pig” was made to stand next to a live pig pen with a sign that read “This is not a Police Officer”.
- A woman who had left her emaciated dog to live in revolting conditions was forced to spend a day at the local dump, sitting in the location with the most foul odor for 8 hours. The Judge was recorded as saying “If you puke, you puke”.
- Another time, a man who was arrested and found to have a loaded gun on him at the time was ordered to go to the local morgue to view corpses!
- A decade ago, a man caught after he had shot his dog was sentenced to wear a Safety Pup costume and visit local elementary schools as the character.
Whatever DESERVING sentence these atrocious humans are given, they all need to be prevented from harming any animals in the future. Unfortunately Judge Cicconetti’s methods are not allowed on repeat offenders, and jail time and fines are the norm. It’s curious to imagine the possibilities of rehabilitating these abusers should more courts institute these punishments nationwide. Hopefully registries are implemented and we as a society can save as many animals as possible from this cruel fate.
Remember, if you see someone abusing or neglecting an animal, call the police!