Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
15 June 2004 Issue
**Trial begins June 29, 2004. If you send comments via email, include in your subject line: "Maximum Sentence for Tigger's Death."
Tom Simon, City Prosecutor
Margaret Draper, Assist. City Prosecutor
110 West 44th St.
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
Dear Mr. Simon,
Thank you for proceeding with charges against Barry Shelott and Cassie Warsing, the Ashtabula, Ohio couple who allegedly ran over a 12-pound Pomeranian puppy, Tigger, three times on May 12, 2004.
It is difficult to imagine Shelott and Warsing's mindset as they switched seats to repeatedly run down and kill Tigger just outside his home, in front of his six-year-old guardian and other witnesses. I understand the accused, who pleaded not guilty, face misdemeanor penalties for their first known animal cruelty offense. I hope you will pursue the maximum 3-month jail sentence and fine upon conviction.
Shelott and Warsing deserve more than misdemeanor charges. Their vehicle, utilized in the commission of a violent assault, ought to be seized and the court should order the couple to undergo psychiatric evaluation. If possible, please ask that Tigger's killers be prohibited from owning or harboring animals in any context.
The deliberate slaying of a tiny, defenseless animal is an act of violence. Individuals who torture animals belong behind bars. In addition, the legal system cannot afford to overlook the established link between animal abuse and human violence.
Animal abuse is an overt clue to anti-social behavior and is listed as a key trait for conduct disorders in an American Psychiatric Association profile. The FBI also recognizes animal abuse as a stage along the violence continuum.
History shows violent criminals "practice" on animals before graduating to humans. Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo shot arrows through the slats of crated dogs and cats. Carroll Edward Cole, executed in 1985 for an alleged 35 murders, strangled a puppy before advancing to humans. Jason Massey's killing career began with cats and dogs; at 20 he decapitated a 13-year-old girl and fatally shot her stepbrother.
These horror stories represent a small portion of the animal-to-human progression recorded in police case files. Violence rarely occurs in a vacuum.
TIgger was a treasured companion, an innocent bystander caught in a senseless and violent moment. Please prosecute his killers to the fullest extent under the law.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION: KINSHIP CIRCLE
HUMANElines--- Issue 300---June 8, 2004
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