Animal abuse is very hard to stomach because animals are at the mercy of the humans who have their welfare in their hands. Cruelty and neglect are common in all walks of life, both in rural and in urban areas. Intentional cruelty to animals is strongly connected to other crimes, including crimes of violence against people. Most of those who intentionally abuse animals are men under 30.
But hoarding behavior frequently makes animals victims, too. And the people who are involved in animal hoarding are usually women over 60. So what do you make of this woman under 30 who neglected her dog in a hoarding situation that left him severely malnourished? Enter Painesville, Ohio, Judge Michael Cicconetti who believes the punishment should fit the crime.
Judge “Chick” sees 30-40 cases a day. But his method of sentencing is what makes him truly unique. “When you talk about State prisons and Federal prisons, their problems started way back here, in municipal court, with minor offenses,” he says. “We have to stop them from going further, at the beginning stages.” So he comes up with innovative punishments that make sure the perpetrators don’t forget the crime.
That leads us to Alyssa Morrow, and her 7 year old pitbull mix. Judge Chick is an animal lover, and he was sick to his stomach when he saw the shape Morrow’s dog, Moose, was in.
Animal Control found the dog in a house that could only be described as belonging to a hoarder. Morrow insists she left him there for only one week. After describing just how Moose must have felt, the judge decided to let Morrow have a little taste of what Moose underwent.
He sentenced her to picking up trash at the county dump for eight hours the next day. He wanted her in the stinkiest, more sickening place the dump could provide, so she’d really remember Moose’s plight.
When she showed up, though—judging by her dress and shoes—she wasn’t taking the punishment very seriously. But for the next 8 hours, she picked up filth, experiencing for one day what Moose had undergone for a week.
The good news is that Moose is doing great and is now up for adoption. We can only hope that Morrow has learned her lesson.
After watching this video, what do you think? Did Judge Chick overstep his bounds? Or did the punishment fit the crime?