Are the big animal charities putting pressure on the prosecution services and the police to ensure that animal cruelty offenders at least face trail? The police and state prosecutors often need to be cajoled or encouraged into pursuing animal cruelty criminals because not enough of them are brought to book for their crimes. Who can do this?
There is an interesting case in which Alley Cat Allies rallied local and national support, together with offering a reward, to catch the criminal who was killing animals in general including 10 cats in South Bend, Indiana.
Alley Cat Allies worked with the South Bend authorities and another group called Michiana Feral Cat Initiative to put pressure on the investigators in an effort to ensure that justice was done.
Pam Wesolowski, Director of Michiana Feral Cat Initiative, expresses her point of view on these matters which very much chimes with mine:
“After a certain amount of time, you just figure that one more person got away with it all….”
However, on this occasion she is pleased to finish that sentence with the words:
“…thank you for all that you do and for being such great support for animals when a community only has a small group like us to spread the word.”
I don’t know how often well-known animal advocacy charities use their muscle to keep the pressure up so that animal cruelty cases are raised to a priority level rather than languishing in the in-tray until the case dies a natural death.
The criminal in this instance is Ares Lee Howard. He has been charged with three counts of killing a domestic animal and ten (believed) counts of mutilating a vertebrate animal. Some of the cats were feral and I believe three where domestic cats.
It appears that some neighbors knew what he was up to, which indicates that until pressured the police were being lazy on this case. The evidence was there.
At Howard’s home, police found a BB gun, a Ruger .22 pistol and .22 calibre ammunition.
Howard had been shooting and killing the cats through specially designed firing holes. Two holes were in a fence overlooking a vacant lot where the dead animals were found.
In his garage there was window covered with a blanket with a hole in it through which he could shoot without being seen.
In addition, the police discovered a history of searching for information about how to kill feral cats and the laws in the state on search warrants on his computer.
A witness said he had seen Howard bait the animals to ensure that they presented themselves in a position where he could fire on them. This witness had spoken to the police last summer, a year ago.
Eight of the ten killed cats underwent necropsies. Most had suffered several BB gun pellet wounds causing death.
How can a person extract pleasure for this sort of activity? He has got to be slightly mad. We now hope the full force of the law comes down on him and that his sentence on conviction (which seems to be a forgone conclusion) is satisfactory.
Can Alley Cat Allies get involved with the Kristen Lindsey case? Or some other major animal advocacy group? It needs pushing along badly.
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