by Elisa Black-Taylor
A friend of mine emailed me yesterday along with the article “Man Gets Probation For Killing Kitten In Tavern.” I immediately knew the case as I’ve followed the original story since 2007.
Back in 2007, a three month old kitten walked into McGee’s Bar and Grill in Madison County, Illinois. This little baby was lost and alone and likely terrified. Several patrons of the bar stopped to pet the kitten.
Then Steven Skoklo, who had served as an animal control officer, slammed the kitten against a door frame then threw it to the floor.
This happened in front of many witnesses, most of whom were horrified by Skoklo, and he was charged with one count of animal cruelty.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, Skoklo was sentenced to one year of probation, a $500 to the Granite City Association for the Protection of Animals, and $500 in court costs. He was also ordered to get alcohol and substance abuse treatment.
I’m going to rant and rave in a moment, but first I’d like to mention another case that received probation. I found this one online simply by Googling “Man Gets Probation By Killing Kitten.” Apparently there are a lot of similar cases out there.
In July, 2010, Mesa, Arizona resident Jeremy Tuffly was given three years probation for attempting to feed a six week old kitten to a python during a crime committed in August of 2009. After a failed attempt to make his snake eat the kitten by throwing the kitten close to the snake, Tuffly drop-kicked the kitten across his yard and into the street where it died.
Here’s the story and a video on this case — link broken Feb 2016 – sorry. Even the sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, stated he had zero tolerance for animal abuse.
I’d also like to mention that Jeremy Tuffly has a criminal background.
Now it’s time for me to rant and rave. I don’t do this often, but this is beyond belief. I feel for the law enforcement officers out there who actually do their job and arrest scum like this. They’re doing their best to get these animal abuser’s off of the street and the judges or the “system” are letting them go with a slap on the wrist.
Readers, these aren’t animal abuser’s who MIGHT be guilty. They’re guilty, they know it and they admit it. Skoklo had witnesses in a tavern and Tuffly videotaped abusing the kitten. There is no doubt of guilt in either of these cases!
I’m sorry, but I consider these men scum and I feel the same about the justice system that failed to give the maximum sentence allowed by law. They are getting the last laugh because probation in the U.S. is a joke. A small fee is paid monthly to the probation office and periodic visits are scheduled. Probation is in most cases nothing more than an inconvenience.
Does our legal system plan to wait around until these men kill a person? Why weren’t they punished? Petitions went around on both cases asking the court for the maximum sentence and THIS is what happens! Not only did the judge make a mockery out of the legal system by ignoring the wishes of the people, but also by ignoring the laws put into place to protect animals.
These cases frighten me because previous cases set the standard for future convictions. In other words, if probation for animal abuse becomes the norm, this is all abusers will be given for their crime.
These two cases took place hundreds of mines from each other. This tells me the problem with our justice system is everywhere and it’s spreading like a virus.
I honestly don’t know what to do to help the victims of animal abuse. These two cases, and I’m sure there are MANY more, show that laws are ignored. So it will be useless to write our congress or senate since the judges pretty much do as they wish once a guilty verdict is handed down.
Readers, I’d really like some feedback on these two cases. I realize I got off track a little from the original topic and I apologize. In my opinion these cases show how our legal system is collapsing around us. Do any of you have any suggestions? Know of a similar case where the abuser was sent back among us with only a slap on the wrist? I’m very curious as to how widespread this miscarriage of justice has spread.