No Jail Time for Convicted Animal Abusers!

No Jail Time for Convicted Animal Abusers!

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Humane Society of Louisiana started this petition to asaskinner@bellsouth.net and


We, the undersigned, vigorously object to the sentencing of Holly Dowden and Steven Ray Jones, who recently pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. The carcasses of twelve animals were observed on their property and 30 more had to be removed and taken in for emergency vet care. Two died from neglect within a day of being seized, one had to be treated at a cost of $1,000, and a horse had to be euthanized the very next day because it was too weak from starvation to survive.


Our lawmakers heard the pleas of their constituents and passed laws to deter people from harming and killing animals and to punish those found culpable. Here are the sentencing guidelines for those who are found guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals, per count:


La. R.S. 14. 102.1 (b) (6) Whoever commits the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals shall be fined not less than five thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or both.


And yet your offices, without conferring with the animal control officers who seized the animals, imposed sentences that are far below the minimum standard set by our state legislature. Your sentencing included three years of probation; a fine of $1,000, and 160 hours of community service performed at a humane society, and ordering the defendants to seek and pay for psychological counseling to be imposed at an August hearing. The statute requires a fine “not less than $5000... or imprison[ment]... for not less than one year”. Furthermore, requiring a repetitive animal abuser to complete community service at a humane society is the equivalent of requiring a convicted child molester to volunteer at a children’s organization. The 40 or more animals who died, suffered, and had to be euthanized as a result of their actions deserve much more consideration than the court afforded them. Therefore, we object to the deferred sentences of Ms. Dowden and Steven Ray Jones. 


By virtue of this petition, we stand against the sentences you imposed and argue that they clearly go against the wishes of our states’ citizens, the Louisiana lawmakers. The sentences served upon Ms. Dowden and Steven Jones serve to lessen the rule of law in Louisiana and devalue all animals in our society and betray the public trust.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!