Target: Steve Beshear, Governor of Kentucky
Goal: Overrule judge who gave a repeat animal abuser only a slap on the wrist
The owner of a puppy mill will face a fine of less than $1000 for six counts of animal cruelty and a charge of disorderly conduct. Patricia Z. Douglas, a 48-year-old from Kentucky, was originally charged with 19 counts of second degree animal cruelty when she was arrested at her home in late 2014. In Kentucky, where second degree animal cruelty equates to a class A misdemeanor, each offense is punishable by 12 months in prison. Instead, Douglas was handed down a very lenient sentence despite the gravity of her crimes.
In Douglas’s home, police found 19 dogs, mostly small breeds such as chihuahuas, terriers, and dachshunds. The dogs were kept in cramped, squalid conditions, most suffering from flea bites and malnutrition. Many of the dogs were pregnant despite their weak physical states.
A McCreary District Court judge handed down a fine of $500 for the six counts of cruelty that Douglas was found guilty of. In addition, she faces a $50 fine for a misdemeanor charge, and will be forced to pay $133 in court fees, despite the fact that Douglas had previous animal abuse charges on her record.
These types of egregious abuse will never be stopped if courts continue to hand down menial punishments. Particularly since Douglas had a previous record of abuse at the time of her trial, a veritable slap on the wrist was not appropriate. Sign the petition below to condemn the judge’s careless ruling, and demand that the state step in to ensure an appropriate punishment.
Dear Governor Beshear,
The owner and operator of a puppy mill will be forced to pay a fine of only about $700, despite repeatedly breaking animal protection laws. Kentucky resident Patricia Z. Douglas was charged with 19 counts of second degree animal cruelty, one for each of the abused dogs found in her home. Most of the dogs were pregnant and malnourished and kept in tight, filthy quarters.
Another judge had sentenced her to two years probation for similar animal cruelty in 2013. Despite this, a McCreary District Court simply fined the woman, a far cry from a possible sentence of 12 months in jail per charge. We, the undersigned, demand that the state move to enforce a harsher punishment of this woman, who got off with a slap on the wrist despite being a repeat offender.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals via Creative Commons