The comprehensive punishment of a cat rescuer who was cruel to her cats

Judge Melynda Cook Howard
Judge Melynda Cook Howard. Photo: GREG LYNCH of Journal News.
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The judge in the Lesli Martin case has handed down an interesting and comprehensive sentence after she was found guilty on five charges of cruelty to companion animals. Lesli Martin, 51, ran a cat rescue. It ended with the cats being rescued from her.

Lesli Martin a cat rescuer charged with animal cruelty
Photo by Nick Graham | Journal-News

The judge in the case is Judge Melynda Cook Howard. This is her sentence:

  1. Lesli Martin was ordered to pay $500 for each of the five counts and court costs for one count.
  2. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail on each of the five offences suspended for one year. If she reoffend’s then she will have to go to jail.
  3. She was ordered to pay restitution to Animals Friends Humane Society. This is for euthanasia fees and cruelty examination fees. In addition she has to pay restitution to the Butler County dog warden. In total Lesli Martin was ordered to pay more than $2148 in restitution.
  4. The judge limited Lesli Martin to keeping one dog and three cats. This limitation is indefinite. She is positively not allowed to have any other animals. In the words of the judge: “No cats, dogs or four-legged animals. Not a gerbil, not a hamster, not a llama, not a goat”. The animals she can keep she already ‘owns’.
  5. Also, Lesli Martin is prohibited from running an animal shelter. She is also prohibited from volunteering at an animal shelter or being involved in any way with an animal shelter and this restriction is for an indefinite period of time.

The five convictions related to five kittens, out of 50 cats rescued from the cat shelter (Heart’s Rescue Sanctuar), who were euthanized because they were too sick.

I think the punishment is comprehensive and sensible. Some people might argue that it should have been harsher but I’d disagree. I like the ban on keeping more than 4 companion animals which she already owns and an indefinite ban on involvement with animal rescue.

Source: Journal

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