Prosecute Jeff Mitchell for Felony Animal Cruelty
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On July16th, 2015 at 1 pm, Jeff Mitchell is scheduled to appear in the Giles County General Sessions Court in Pulaski, TN after requesting and being awarded a continuance at a hearing on June 4th, 2015 He is facing 55 counts of Felony animal cruelty in regards to horses that belonged to him. These charges were brought after his own father repeatedly reported the neglected conditions of 55 horses that were being kept in horrible living conditions on approximately 4 acres of property. There were also 17 dogs being housed in muddy pens. No charges were brought for the neglected dogs but Mitchell relinquished them to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue thru the recommendation of the Giles County Sheriff’s Office. The 55 horses were relinquished to Volunteer Equine Advocates with some of those going to Safe Harbor Livestock Sanctuary and some going to Horse Haven of TN.
Felony animal cruelty charges for neglect of livestock can only be brought if the person being charged has a previous conviction of animal cruelty. Mitchell has not one, but two previous convictions, both in 2009.
The first charge was April 23, 2009 and involved three dogs being kept in unsanitary conditions inside a cattle trailer on his property. The affidavit signed by Lt. Barry Medley goes on to state the dog’s hair was matted in feces and the floor of the trailer was covered in feces. Mitchell pled guilty on the misdemeanor charge and paid a $50 fine plus court costs.
Evidently, Mitchell thought being charged with animal cruelty was no big deal due to the insignificance of his punishment. On September 9, 2009, Lt. Barry Medley brought another charge of animal cruelty against Jeff Mitchell. This time it involved 13 malnourished horses (of approximately 35 to 40 horses on a property at Happy Hollow Rd. in Giles County.) Again, Mitchell pled guilty to the charge with all 13 horses being relinquished to Volunteer Equine Advocates. He was ordered to pay restitution of $1211.00 to VEA but there was no fine, only standard court cost.
Mitchell faces a much harsher punishment this time around, due to a change in the Tennessee animal cruelty law, which was voted into law for cases just like this one. I believe this has him running a bit scared. Rumor has it his attorney has asked for a plea agreement that would reduce all of the felony charges to misdemeanors. I think this is because he is a licensed pharmacist in Tennessee and he would be stripped of his license with just one felony conviction. “First do no harm” is a joke to Jeff Mitchell. He has no regard for the life of God’s creatures, how could he proclaim to care more for human life? If the District Attorney’s office even takes his request into consideration, I think it would be a slap in the face to the law makers who voted for the statute change and to all of the citizens of Tennessee, especially for those of us who fight for the rights of Tennessee’s animals.
We respectfully ask that the charges remain felonies and that due to the circumstances of being a three time repeat offender, Mitchell should have a lifetime ban for contact with any kind of animal, to include animal related events and shows. He should also be required to undergo a mental evaluation.
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