Judge Michael Cicconetti from Ohio got tired of seeing abusers of animals receive what amounted to slap on the wrist penalties when convicted of neglect or abuse of animals. As a result, he decided to get creative with his sentences in order to not only teach animal abusers a valuable lesson, but to raise and spread awareness that animal abuse is intolerable and will be treated as the serious legal infraction it is.
Judge Michael Cicconetti is a lover of animals beginning with his childhood dachshund mix Herman and continuing to present day with his 10-year-old Bernese mountain dog, Kasey. Judge Mike’s compassion for animals follows him into the courtroom where he is mandated to follow the parameters of the law which prohibit him from dolling out ‘cruel or unusual punishments.’ However, this does not mean that he cannot get creative.
One particular woman whose dog was found to be living in filthy conditions got sentenced by Judge Mike to spend an entire day at the very stinky local dump stating, “I want you to go down to the county dump, to the landfill, and I want them to find the stinkiest, smelliest, God-awful odor place they can find in that dump and I want you to sit there for eight hours tomorrow, to think about what you did to that dog while you smell the odor. If you puke, you puke.”
In another case, a woman had coldly abandoned 35 kittens in the woods. Judge Mike sentence mandated that in addition to jail time and a fine, that she also spend a night in the cold woods by herself, stating, “How would you like to be dumped off at a metro park late at night, spend the night listening to the coyotes … listening to the raccoons around you in the dark night, and sit out there in the cold not knowing where you’re going to get your next meal, not knowing when you are going to be rescued?”
Judge Mike notes that he never really had a premeditated plan to raise awareness, but just started dolling out these creative sentences as he continued to see repeat offenders clearly not learning their lesson for the crimes they committed against animals. Ultimately, Judge Mike hopes that mental health evaluations will soon be mandatory for animal abuse crimes. He would also like to see the establishment of an animal abuse registry, much like a sex offender registry, so that neighbors and shelters can be aware of past offenders.
It is so refreshing to see a legal professional have great compassion for animals and become serious about how egregious animal abuse is and take major steps to enact serious consequences and raise awareness.
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality throughout a number of subjects and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.
Primary source for this story: https://animalchannel.co/ohio-judge-fed-up-with-animal-abusers/?utm_source=page&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=animals