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One animal-loving judge is doling out some strange sentences to repeat animal abusers in Ohio to creatively encourage them to change their behaviors.
Judge Michael Cicconetti presides over all manner of cases in his hometown of Painesville, OH and he is known for his creative judgment calls all over the country.
There seems to be one type of criminal activity, though, that really grinds his gears above the rest and that’s animal abuse.
Thankfully Judge Cicconetti’s compassion for animals carries over into the courtroom though, and he is finally finding a way to draw awareness to the rampant neglect and abuse that’s plaguing the animals of his city.
Judge Mike started taking an unorthodox approach to his sentencing when he began noticing a string of repeat criminal offenders.
Finally, Cicconetti got sick of it; he was done playing nice.
Clearly, the standard “fine ’em and jail ’em” approach wasn’t working to change anything, so the Judge stepped up to the challenge with a creative approach to how he sentenced people.
For instance, in one remarkable case, a woman faced the formidable Judge after she had been charged with animal neglect when her dog, Moose, was found living in absolute filth and squalor.
Jude Mike decided that a night in jail wasn’t a harsh enough sentence to fit the crime.
Instead, he offered her the option to take on one of his infamous “creative sentences”. While it might seem like an easier way out than jail time, this woman soon found out that wasn’t the case when the Judge issued her sentence in front of the courtroom.
“I want you to go down to the county dump, to the landfill, and I want them to find the stinkiest, smelliest, God-awful odor place they can find in that dump and I want you to sit there for eight hours tomorrow, to think about what you did to that dog while you smell the odor. If you puke, you puke.”
The pet-friendly and compassionate Judge isn’t handing down spontaneous and unusual sentencing just for publicity, though some have accused him of it.
Rather, the Judge has bigger ambitions on his plate, starting with spreading awareness of animal abuse.
Cicconetti is using his seat as Judge to spearhead efforts to improve animal rights legislation so that the problem actually starts being addressed.
Judge Cicconetti’s fondness for animals goes back all the way to his boyhood when he got his first family dog, Herman.
Herman was a mixed breed Dachshund and the best friend that a young small town boy could have ever asked for.
Though Herman has long since passed, the love of animals he sparked in Cicconetti has only grown in the passing decades and he now has another canine bestie, Kasey, a Bernese Mountain dog gifted to him from a dying friend as a remembrance offering.
The Judge’s compassion-filled crusade against animal abuse doesn’t only extend to dogs, either.
When Cicconetti presided over another animal abuse case involving a woman that abandoned nearly 40 kittens to the lurking dangers of the woods, he was inspired to deliver her an epic sentence.
He decided not only to punish her with jail time and a fine but to also add a measure of learning to her sentence by making her drink from the same cup, so-to-speak.
Cicconetti ordered her to spend a long, frozen, wintry night in the woods all by herself to think about her actions, but not before he interrogated her regarding her lack of compassion.
The Judge hopes that the publicity he’s received for the strange sentences he hands out will not only inform the criminally ignorant but the general public as well.
He wants to see harsher sentencing for convicted animal abusers, as well as mandatory educational programs for the abusers similar to what you would see in cases of child neglect or domestic violence.
The progressive judge wants animal rights to be taken seriously, so much so that he even proposes creating an animal abuse and neglect registry modeled after the sex offender registry, so that people and shelter’s know those on the register are not qualified to own an animal.
To hear more about Judge Mike and how he decides who gets one of his eccentric sentences check out the video below.
If you know of an animal that is being abused please don’t hesitate to reach out to the police because you CAN make a difference.
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