Target: Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney
Goal: Praise law enforcement and the Animal Rescue Mission for a successful investigation and prosecution against one of the owners of an illegal slaughter house.
Miami-Dade police arrested four owners of a slaughter house, which had developed a reputation for abusing animals. At least three of the men have been slapped with felony charges related to animal abuse. Chief among them is Gregorio Santa Ana, who opted to plead guilty to the charges against him despite an initial attempt to challenge the animal-cruelty laws in Florida.
According to reports, an undercover “agent” for the Animal Rescue Mission posed as a customer and obtained enough evidence to later bring the Miami-Dade police onto the case. When law enforcement arrived at the slaughter house, they allegedly found carcasses of dead animals, some of which had been eaten by other starving animals on the farm. These reported horrific conditions inspired petitions like this, which called for the punishment of these men for their heartless actions.
In total, law enforcement recovered thousands of animals from the 200 acre Coco Farm. This included mostly pigs, along with goats, chickens and cows. According to the police, the Coco Farm was no regular slaughter house. It operated without permits and did not follow legal guidelines for the treatment of the animals. Now, all four men must pay the price of their actions, beginning with Santa Ana.
Animal Rights Mission would have preferred a better prosecution, but believes that the plea deal is reasonable. Under this deal, Santa Ana will serve five years of probation. He will also have to pay investigators a whopping $23,000. To add to this he is now a felon due to the animal cruelty charges and is effectively banned from working around animals ever again. Add your name to the petition to show your support for this remarkable win.
Dear Attorney Fernandez Rundle,
I write this letter to express my deepest gratitude for the work your investigations team put into the prosecution of the owners of the Coco Farm. A few months ago, another colleague wrote a petition requesting that the owners of the illegal slaughterhouse receive the highest punishment possible for their actions. In spite of a plea deal, the stipulations for at least one of the owners’ convictions provide a great win for all parties involved.
There has not yet been word of how the other three accused owners will fare in court. However, we urge your officers to do the best they can to push for the highest sentencing possible. This rescue mission is being touted as one of the biggest in the entire history of the United States, and the kind of systematic animal abuse it targeted cannot be allowed to continue.
While we thank you for the work of your officers thus far, we urge you to continue to take a unified stand against animal abuse in Florida. We cannot rescue every animal in need, but we can deter others from abusing animals by making an example of the perpetrators in the worst case America has seen so far.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Maret Hosemann