The sentence for convicted cat killer Ted Dodenhoff was handed down on Friday, April 8 following the March conviction for first degree animal cruelty and first degree animal neglect. Dodenhoff was told at the end of March to make plans for his son to have a place to stay before the sentencing, This is the same son who allegedly witnessed the slow death of a cat named Titan (see this PoC article).
Despite Oregon law on animal cruelty stating Dodenhoff could receive a harsh sentence involving several years of jail time (5 years per conviction from what I heard), instead Ted received a total of 30 days in the Marion County jail system, two 5-year probation sentences, fines plus court fees totaling $1042, and 160 hours of community service. He must also undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
In addition, Dodenhoff is only allowed to own aquarium fish. He’s banned from owning other animals, traps, or poisons intended for animals. He is allowed weed killer and bug repellent, providing he only use them as per label instructions. Additionally, he may not have any contact with any parties involved or their families, save his own attorney.
According to an article in Oregon Live, prosecutors say that in court, where it counts, they are hampered by Oregon’s sentencing guidelines, which make animal-abuse laws all but useless. Attempts were made to correct the situation during legislative sessions, but were shut down due to budget concerns. (see Oregon online). What kind of ass of a judge doesn’t see the connection between animal cruelty and cruelty to people?
Josh Marquis, District Attorney in Clatsop County, stated in the Oregon Live article
“But there is literally no way to get prison time, no matter how horrible the (animal-related) crime. There’s an absolutely undeniable link between person and animal cruelty. All of the serious sexual psychopaths have animal cruelty in their backgrounds.”
The Oregon prison system is as stressed as the rest of America, with criminals who have harmed people receiving less “hard time.” Still, giving a person convicted of two crimes which should have led to 10 years in prison combined, but instead putting them in the county jail for a month, is a slap in the face.
I’m sorry, but I have absolutely no respect for the judge who handed down this decision. Animal cruelty laws are written for a reason. To not follow them is a slap in the face, not only to Titan, but to the citizens of Oregon. It also sets a bad example for the children who are now traumatized after testifying under oath that they did indeed try to help Titan. One child tried to bring a bowl of water to help Titan and give him some water. The child told his parents about Titan, and after a parent speaking to Dodenhoff, the neighbors were under the impression Titan was to be taken to the local Humane Society. According to the Facebook: Justice for Titan page.
“Ted’s own son knocks the bowl of water out of the child’s hand and said no you can’t give it to him my dad won’t let you. Another friend of Ted’s son, a 10-year-old child, came over and was so distraught by what he saw he literally tried to bend the bars of the trap to get Titan out. He didn’t know how to open the trap. He was so upset he ran home crying and told his dad.”
Titan’s owner Danielle Sherbourne said in an interview with Statesman Journal:
“[Titan] was my baby,” she said. “[Dodenhoff] took that away … all because he went into your yard. May my kitty cause you nightmares.”
Readers, what are your thoughts on the subject? Personally, I hope karma has a hand, not only for Dodenhoff, but for the judge who gave him this suspended sentence. If the FBI now considers animal cruelty a felony in every state, then WHY isn’t the law being upheld?
Suspended sentences in America are getting people killed these days. Why aren’t judges being forced to follow what’s written in the laws for their state? They allow these convicted criminals to walk, then act surprised when that person ends up killing someone. Shame on you judge! You’ve just announced those convicted of animal cruelty in your jurisdiction that the punishment definitely doesn’t fit the crime.
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