Judge Michael Cicconetti from Ohio gives animal abusers sentences that will hopefully teach them a very valuable lesson.
His love of animals first began when he got his first dog. Herman was a Dachshund-mix that quickly became his best friend through childhood. Now, Judge Mike has a 10-year-old Bernese mountain dog named Kasey, and his love of animals still thrives.
The Painesville, Ohio judge’s compassion for animals follows him into the courtroom, but of course, he still needs to follow the parameters of the law; this means he can’t give out ‘cruel or unusual punishments,’ but it doesn’t mean he can’t get a bit creative.
Judge Mike says that his punishments aren’t going to put anyone in danger, but “that doesn’t mean that they can’t deal with a little discomfort and embarrassment.”
For example, one woman was put in front of Judge Mike after her dog was found living in total filth. So, it was only fitting that she spend an entire day at the filthy, smelly local dump. She, of course, wasn’t thrilled, but Judge Mike had words for her.
“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 abandoned 35 kittens in the woods. The judge sentenced her to spend a night in the cold woods by herself, in addition to jail time and a fine.
“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 hopes that his headline-making sentences create an awareness about animal abuse and its consequences; not only for the abusers but for the public as well. He wants people to know it’s a crime.
The creative, animal-loving judge said that he never schemed or made a conscious decision on these interesting sentences, but that he started doling them out once he started to notice a trend of repeat offenders.
Since they didn’t seem to be learning their lessons, he wanted to figure out a way to make it stick. However, Judge Mike says that the sentences are not premeditated. He waits until all the details of the case are heard before making any final decisions.
Ultimately, Judge Mike Cicconetti hopes that mental evaluations will soon be required for animal-related crimes. In addition, he would like to see an animal abuse registry, much like a sex offender registry, so that neighbors and shelters can be aware of past offenders.