Animal abuse is no small crime and should not be treated as one. When people commit heinous acts against innocent animals, there should be consequences. Too often, people abuse dogs and get off scot-free like the teacher who fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle and faced zero repercussions. Recently, a woman named Melissa Moore also received just a slap on the wrist for her cruel mistreatment of a puppy.

Moore left the poor creature to die a slow, agonizing death of starvation and was only fined $327.25 that she is being allowed to pay in installments of $35 per week. She had been evicted from her home and when someone arrived to clean the vacant apartment, they found the puppy dead on a pile of trash. There was raw meat on a kitchen counter far away from the puppy, although it is believed the raw meat was meant to give the apartment a foul odor because she was angry about her eviction.

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Source: In Defense of Animals

In Defense of Animals attended Moore’s court trial and they believe she should have at least been fined $2,500 or had to spend six months in jail. They stated, “It is frustrating to see animal cruelty continue to get a slap on the wrist in Winona after the mishandling of the outrageous dog burning case just three years ago. We urge judges to use available animal cruelty penalties – laws are useless if they are not enforced.”

Three years ago, a man in Winona, Mississippi where Moore was also tied, torched his dog alive and was fined just $327.50. Clearly, the judges and courts of Winona are not taking animal cruelty seriously as they are handing out minor punishments equivalent to a citation for littering.

To fight this, In Defense of Animals in collaboration with the Winona Animal Advocacy Group “are holding workshops for officials and citizens across Mississippi with information on how to resolve recurring animal protection issues, including the revision and establishment of sound animal protection ordinances.” The issue isn’t only the laws in place, it is also whether or not judges are giving appropriate sentences.

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Hopefully these discussions will open people’s eyes, leading to less animal cruelty overall and appropriate consequences when it does happen.

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