In most cases, I don’t believe that it is a good idea for a judge to order convicted animal abusers to work 200 hours in an animal shelter as part of their punishment. The idea is to rehabilitate these criminals, to make them respect animals so that they won’t reoffend.
I am afraid I have a much more cynical approach to life than some judges. A forty-year-old animal abuser is pretty much beyond rehabilitation in matters concerning animal welfare and respect. Working 200 hours in animal shelters is not going to eradicate a lifetime’s worth of learning on how to disrespect animals while harbouring thoughts of how to harm them. The sort of abuse these criminals mete out to animals indicates a deeply disturbed attitude towards not only animals but life in general.
Also the animal shelter would have to have someone watching them at all times. You simply could not trust them. The sentence that fits the crime of animal abuse is severe punishment as per the law. Sadly the law does not allow judges to pass sentences which are sufficiently severe.
A judge in Mississippi sentenced one of two men who scalded a cat to death with boiling water to a six month prison sentence and a $2,500 fine. The other man received a 30 day prison sentence and a $1,000 fine. Both were ordered to work for 200 hours at the Jackson Animal Shelter. The younger man (24) got the heavier sentence (he probably threw the water).
Do you think that working at the animal shelter will do any good?
In some cases working in an animal shelter might be appropriate. I am thinking of younger offenders, perhaps teenagers, committing lesser acts of animal abuse in a careless and/or reckless way. There may be some prospect of these people learning about the error of their ways.
P.S. the cat they killed was in a cage and their act was videoed. Damn it. Throw the book at them.