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Old 12-19-2012, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default convicted, community service at animal shelter

Thoughts on the 'sentencing' guidelines in this case(or other cases w/ animal abusers)
WWMT Newschannel 3 :: News - Top Stories - Man sentenced for involvement in dog fighting ring
The other person convicted has to do jail time and community service as well, but not specified where.
Michigan man sentenced on dog-fighting charges - National Dogs | Examiner.com
These two were breeding/training dogs for fighting.

Should people convicted of animal cruelty or dog fighting, whatever be anywhere near a shelter/rescue as community service?
I personally don't think so, that is almost comparing letting a pedophile or child abuser do 'community service' at a daycare.

Hopefully they aren't allowed near any animals or the food/water sources that the animals are ingesting.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm assuming you're asking about this case only,but I don't think convicted of animal abuse should be allowed to do any work with animals. If they were convicted of other charges such as drugs,etc I could see it differently. After all not everyone who has gone to jail is an awful person and some of really do love animals. In this case though I don't think it's a good idea.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No not this case only, I see it happening often, someone abuses animals and is made to work at a shelter for their penance. Makes no sense, what are the judges thinking?!
I agree, if the crimes don't involve animals, no biggie having community service w/ shelter or rescue, whatever and I'm a proponent of the prison animal rehab programs. They are a great way to help both the dogs and inmates.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think it is a very bad idea to have an animal abuser made to do community service at an animal shelter... That does not make any sense to me. I can see people with minor offenses that have nothing to do with animal abuse being placed in a shelter to do community service. People who abuse animals should be made to other things like road clean up etc.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess it depends on how you look at it.

MAYBE the judge was hoping to de-objectify (is that even a word?) the dogs in the minds of the convicted. See them as animals, with personalities, etc. and not just a "fighting machine".

It might work if the person had a conscience (no psychopathy checklist done, so hard to tell!)

Also, they are supervised (hopefully) by staff so the staff member would be able to report their findings (person didn't care, didn't clean properly, etc. etc. or the exact opposite).

When I was a parole officer, I had a number of parolees who wanted to work with the Humane Society and the HS wouldn't let them because they had a criminal record.

I worked with a rescue group and they were THRILLED that a bunch of people would help walk dogs, etc. I was totally up front with them about the "clientele" that would be volunteering their time.

It worked out really well. There were a couple of incidents ... mainly lack of education of the parolees's part ... nothing major and everyone learned and moved forward.

There was ONE parolee who admitted that he had killed his dog. The other parolees were STUNNED .. a) that he did it and b) that he admitted to it. THEY watched him like a hawk ... and he knew they were watching him.

A year later he finished parole and continued working with the rescue.

I'm not saying it's ALWAYS the best answer, but sometimes working with animals - that are non-judgemental - can really be the key to helping someone turn around.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The guys in the case above has been involved with dog fighting/breeding forever....it wasn't a spur of the moment thing, but a big deal. They had pedigrees/paperwork for all and charged big bucks because fighters wanted the bloodlines. It wasn't a small time operation. I really don't understand how these two got off so easily. BUT our governor just signed a bill that will have anyone convicted of dog fighting to have all assets confiscated as they do in money laundering or racketeering crimes.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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my brother had to do community service for a DUI plea bargain.. he chose the shelter,, they didn't allow any community service folks near animals,, he cleaned empty kennels and crates,, nothing more
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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IMO no I wouldnt want them working with animals but at the same time at least the will be doing some good in the world considering 99% wont be doing much else

Last edited by JeanKBBMMMAAN; 12-20-2012 at 08:28 AM. Reason: edited for language review board rules
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's a stupid idea. There is tons of empirical data showing animal abuse is a strong predictor of future violence toward children or women. IMHO society would be better served by requiring aggressive professional psychological intervention to save future lives of human beings. Dumping those guys on the already overburdened staff at the animal shelter is a lost opportunity to do that.

The shelter doesn't exist to rehabilitate those guys -- that's the criminal justice system's job. Dedicating staff or a volunteer to watch one of those guys would be disruptive--and I don't know any shelters with extra workers to spare doing that. Volunteers might as well take a bunch of rambunctious shelter puppies and kittens to the courthouse and ask the courtstaff to babysit them 160 hours, since the judge feels like trading off work.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Activists enraged by Memphis Animal Shelter webcam image - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Audit Ties Memphis Shelter Workers To Dog-Fighting Rings | Memphis Breaking News, Weather and Sports | WPTY-TV | ABC24, abc24.com

Isn't that bizarre?

I would like to think that they could develop some empathy but the only way I would send them to a shelter is with staff from the prison going with them - and how do you know what their POV is on animal cruelty?
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