Thursday, June 3, 2010

Animal cruelty policies need stiffer enforcement

I'm not planning on going out to the barn today, so I'll post a link to a story that I've been meaning to blog about for some time.

This article ran in our local paper last week: Man who dragged horse sentenced for felony cruelty

The title of the article sounds nice and tough, but his sentence is anything but that. The guy was given a year in work-release, which is pretty damn lenient — too good for this scum, if you ask me. As a friend of mine pointed out, you get more time for smoking pot! Why does a joint matter more than an animal's life?

Deputy District Attorney Alexis King, who likened Blue's condition to that of a victim of a concentration camp, asked Tidball to sentence McCulley to prison saying it "was the only appropriate sentence."

Tidball declined, saying she thought McCulley was sorry.

Sorry? I think if he was sorry, he would have learned his lesson the first time his horses were taken away from him for neglect: They were taken away from him 2 years prior, in 2007. Sadly, the horses were returned to him in good health the following year, so that he could starve them all over again.

Many of those horses had been seized in a prior animal abuse case against McCully, in 2007.

A search warrant wasn't used in the 2007 case, and the horses taken at the time were returned to McCulley in 2008 in "healthy condition."

If law enforcement had taken it seriously the first time he starved his horses, this wouldn't have happened. Colorado has the stiffest penalties for animal cruelty in the nation, yet all this guy gets is a slap on the wrist. Even now, when he has tortured and killed a starving horse, all he gets is a year of work-release and five years of probation. The only good thing that has come out of it is that he isn't allowed any contact with animals, but the way the article is written it seems like that might only be for his probationary period. He needs to be banned from owning animals for life!

This story goes to show that a state's animal cruelty policies are only as good as the people who uphold it. It doesn't matter how tough the maximum sentences are on animal abusers, if law enforcement and the courts don't follow through!



At June 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM, Blogger lopinon4 said...


I was recently a juror in a sexual assault of a child trial. It involved two children, both related to the accused. We found him guilty of one count, not guilty of the other. All that aside, he gets 21 years; 10 years in prison (one of which is served already) and 11 years of supervision. It was enough to make me throw up. What is the world coming to???

At June 4, 2010 at 5:34 AM, Blogger phaedra96 said...

Here is a good one a friend told me last night--A pit bull attacked a child in Arizona. Tore up her side. Mama shot dog to save child. Mama is sued by neighbor for shooting dog. MAMA spends six months in jail. WHAT is wrong with people???? Just heard on the radio a child in a neighboring city was mauled by the family's pit bull as child let dog out the door. Child died last night. WHAT is wrong with people???

At June 5, 2010 at 10:44 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

lopinon, a few years ago I was on a jury, also for a sexual assault of a minor trial. It took 2 weeks and it was heartbreaking. The guy had been feeling up his adopted daughters (11 and 13 at the time) and the defense was trying to claim they were making it up. Talk about disgusting! I don't know what his sentence ended up being, since we weren't there for that, but we found him guilty on ALL counts. I hope he rots in prison.

phaedra, I agree that stories like those make it sound like we've got our wires crossed, but unless you've got the actual articles, I'd say they sound like urban legends to me. In general though I think animal abuse is not taken seriously enough in our society, so even if these stories are true, I think they are the exception rather than the norm.

At June 27, 2011 at 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious, do you know how animal control officers or special constables go about reporting suspected animal cruelty when they come upon it? Are they ethically obligated to report suspected abuse? Do they have a "level" of what is considered abuse?


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