I have ammedned the petition letter to reflect the current facts. Please copy and paste the petition letter below and send it to the officials involved! I don't expect it to change anything, but I want everyone to know how Hercules was let down...especially the people in a position of authority who could CHOSE to do something! Just copy and paste the list of emails below into your email :)
Dist1@leegov.com;Dist2@leegov.com;Dist3@leegov.com;Dist4@leegov.com;Dist5@leegov.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
I adopted an emaciated pit-bull named Hercules who was found tied up with no food, water or shelter for weeks in Lee County, Florida. He was forced to survive on sticks and rain dew while his owner watched him die a slow and torturous death. He was so weak that he couldn’t hold his head up or stand. Lee County Domestic Animal Services located his owner, Pablo Flores. Mr. Flores admitted to owning Hercules and to tying him up for weeks.
Pablo Flores was written two animal cruelty citations for violating the county ordinance of animal cruelty. Even though his crimes were violations of state statutes 828.12 & 828.13, Lee County Operations Director Glenn Johnson admitted to NOT pursing misdemeanor charges because it was "EASIER" . He could cite NO other reasons as to why Pablo Flores was not arrested and charged as he clearly admitted on record to both crimes.
At Mr. Flores’ first hearing for the citations, the judge requested that the charges go back to the State of Florida Attorney’s office for proper charges to be filed. However, the Attorney’s office did nothing and IGNORED the judge’s request.
When Pablo Flores returned to court, citations were all that he was charged with. He was sentenced to pay $1036 in fines to Lee County. He was put on a payment plan that lasts more than two years. The consequence of not making a payment is the same as if you stop paying on a credit card. His account goes to a debt collection agency.
Hercules died one month after I saved him from a pulmonary embolism. Most likely what occurred is that a clot formed while he was severely anemic and dislodged as he started to become more active. I lost a piece of my soul the day that Hercules died.
I have fought for justice for Hercules to no avail. In my quest for justice, I’ve realized that it will never happen for Hercules. Words cannot express how much it saddens me that the people we elect and hire to uphold the law don’t do what they swore to do. What is the point of having laws if they are not enforced? Florida has strict animal cruelty laws and it is RIDICULOUS that criminals are not being held accountable for their actions because people like Glenn Johnson and the Lee County State Attorney are cowards that take the easy way out.
If Pablo Flores would have been charged with two misdemeanor charges for violating state statutes 828.12 and 828.13 he would have had a record. Anyone who ever did a background check would see his convictions…employers, landlords, police and state officials. The judge would have had the option to sentence Mr. Flores to jail for up to 1 year, charge him with fines up to $5000 and issue probation. Instead, he was issued a fine that goes to collections when he doesn’t pay it. No record, no jail time, no probation…NO CONSEQUENCES.
I realize that the world is over run with rapists, pedophiles and murderers and perhaps animal cruelty is not high on the list for the State of Florida. It should be, though. Where do most of the most disgusting criminals start out? Abusing animals. What are they learning now? They can get away with their actions.
I also realize that Lee County Animal Services sees animal cruelty frequently. That should only strengthen their resolve to make a difference and bring justice! Glenn Johnson stated that law enforcement is only called when a felony is involved and that all misdemeanors are handled internally. Who is Glenn Johnson to decide that it would be easier to stay with a civil citation rather than a misdemeanor charges? How many other Pablo Flores’ are walking the streets with no consequences to pay? If Pablo Flores did this to an innocent animal, what would he do to you? To your child?
We need to STAND UP and DEMAND that animal abusers are charged according to State Law and NOT by cowards who take the easy way out.
If you’re interested in seeing the video that celebrities such as Sophia Bush, Ian Somerhalder, Karina Smirnoff and Sia have helped share, click on Operation Paws for Hercules. Please check out Paws For Hercules and help share Hercules’ story to inspire others to adopt and save a soul for Hercules. "Like" his Facebook page and be a part of a community that makes a difference!
Nicole Cummings started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,690 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.