As an animal lover, it’s particularly difficult for me to see animals being neglected or abused. Sadly, it’s a tragic fact that it happens to thousands of animals every day the world over.
Unfortunately, very few of those responsible are ever given appropriate sentences.
Now, though, one animal-loving judge, Michael Cicconetti, is taking the fight to those who think they can get away with light sentences for mistreating animals.
He’s choosing to do everything in his power to protect those who have no one else to protect them.
Michael Cicconetti is more than just a judge, he is known for delivering his own brand of justice.
He is also a huge animal lover, with a soft spot for our furry friends.
Ever since getting his first dog, Ohio judge Michael has loved animals.
Herman, a dachshund-mix, was Cicconetti’s best friend throughout his childhood, and Kasey, a 10-year-old Bernese mountain dog, is the judge’s current companion.
Yet, the judge’s passion for dogs isn’t confined to home alone. Animals are his true calling, and it’s certainly evident in his courtroom.
His deep passion for animals spills over into his courtroom too.
Obviously he’s somewhat restricted as to what he can do – he can’t bend laws or change things set in stone within judicial practise.
That said, he has come up with a simple, yet effective way to give perpetrators a taste of their own medicine.
“These punishments won’t endanger anyone, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t deal with a little discomfort and embarrassment.”
Take for example a woman who recently found herself in front of Mike.
Her dog was found living in complete filth and so Mike believed she should get a similar experience.
Alyssa Morrow had left her 7-year-old dog, Moose, in a dirty, hoarder-like house until the dog was only skin-and-bones.
Judge Cicconetti thought Morrow should get a similar experience in order to know what the poor dog must have felt in such a gross situation.
Mike ruled that she had to spend a day at a local dump, all the while reflecting on the conditions she forced the dog to live in.
After being told she would be sitting in literal filth, the woman was less than happy.
Judge Mike had words for her, however:
“I want you to go down to the county dump, to the landfill, and I want them to find the stinkiest, smelliest, God-awful odor place they can find in that dump and I want you to sit there for eight hours tomorrow, to think about what you did to that dog while you smell the odor. If you puke, you puke.”
Michael hopes that his creative sentences will help raise awareness of ongoing animal abuse and neglect.
He wants people to know that mistreating animals is a serious issue, and one that should carry equally serious consequences.
In another case where a woman abandoned 33 kittens in the wood, he handed down a sentence that meant she had to spend a night alone in a wood herself, in addition to imprisonment and fines.
Cicconetti sentenced the accused, Michelle Murray, to “suffer the same consequences as those kittens” she abandoned at two Lake Metroparks.
While many of the kittens were rescued, more than nine of them died from upper respiratory infections.
While some judges might not take offenses against animals as seriously, Cicconetti sentenced Murry, a former animal rescuer, to the maximum sentence of 90 days in jail.
Cicconetti reportedly told her she a choice of jail time, donating to her Humane Society, or spending a night alone in the woods.
“How would you like to be dumped off at a metro park late at night, spend the night listening to the coyotes … , listening to the raccoons around you in the dark night, and sit out there in the cold not knowing where you’re going to get your next meal, not knowing when you are going to be rescued?” Cicconetti asked Murray, according to ABC.
Murray chose a solitary night in the wilderness, according to Business Insider.
She had to stay in the park overnight until dawn without food or shelter. She was under the supervision of security who only allowed her water.
The Lake County Human Society’s director said she was pleased with Cicconetti’s decision and that it was a small piece of justice for some of the kittens that died, The News-Herald reported.
Animal lover Mike wasn’t always inclined to add such sprinkles of flair to his sentences, but he realised he had to get his thinking cap on when he began to see a lot of returning criminals.
Since the standard punishments seemed to have little effect, he had to find his own unique way of tackling the problem.
Cicconetti has been a Painesville Municipal Court judge since 1994 and was elected to three six-year terms before announcing his retirement.
Mike really is an example to be followed. His creative, headline-grabbing sentences will hopefully help raise awareness of ongoing animal abuse and neglect and wants people to know that mistreating animals is a serious issue.
Share this article with your friends if you think Judge Mike is on the right track with his creative punishments for animal abusers and let’s pay tribute to his brilliant work!