The purpose of the law is to protect liberties and rights.Most people overlook the fact that the law not only protects human rights, but it also protects animal rights.That’s why hearing stories of animal abuse is upsetting, especially when the perpetrators get away with no punishment.But one judge in Painesville, Ohio, has decided that none of that will happen.
Michael Cicconeti, a Municipal Court Judge, was fed up with animal abusers receiving little to no punishment.He uses unusual sentences to teach abusers valuable lessons they will never forget, because sentences are designed to encourage and enforce lawful behavior.Judge Cicconeti’s support for animal rights stems from his love of animals.When he got his first dog, a Dachshund mix named Herman, he fell in love with animals.His love for animals grew from there.Kasey, his ten-year-old Bernese mountain dog, is now his companion.
Judge Cicconeti, an honorable member of the legal profession, does not impose dangerous or unlawful punishments.But he isn’t above causing offenders some discomfort and embarrassment.
Consider the case of a woman who abandoned 35 kittens in the woods.To help the offender understand the gravity of her actions, the judge sentenced her to spend the night alone in the woods.During the hearing, he told her, “How would you like to be dropped off at a metro park late at night, spend the night listening to coyotes…?”Listening to the raccoons around you in the dark night, and sitting out there in the cold not knowing where you’ll get your next meal, or when you’ll be rescued?”
In another case, a woman was convicted after her dog was discovered living in filth.Judge Cicconeti gave her a taste of her own medicine by sending her to a filthy, stinky local dump for a day.”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, thinking about what you did to that dog while you smell the odor,” the judge said during the hearing.You puke if you puke.”
A law that makes animal companion abuse a felony went into effect last September.This law, known as Goddard’s law, was a huge step forward for animal rights activists.Judge Cicconeti hopes that his headline-grabbing sentences will raise awareness about the crime of animal abuse and its consequences.
This animal-loving judge had no intention of passing such unusual sentences.He only began making them after noticing that jail time was ineffective in making abusers realize the gravity of their crimes.As a result, he decided to employ an unconventional method of persuading these offenders to change their ways.The judge always ensures that the sentences he imposes are appropriate for the crimes committed.He waits until all of the facts of the case are heard before handing down sentences.
Judge Cicconeti advocated for long-term solutions to this problem, citing the need for offenders to have access to education.He told iHeartDogs that if drunk drivers and child neglecters are required to take courses as part of their sentences, so should animal abusers.The judge also hopes that those responsible for such crimes will be subjected to mandatory mental evaluations.There should be a registry for animal abusers, just as there is one for sex offenders.This enables shelters to vet prospective adopters.
We may not have Judge Cicconeti’s influence and power, but we can still make a difference for our furry friends’ rights in small ways.If we want to advocate for our beloved pets, we can begin by raising awareness and reporting abusers in our own community.