Even though Chance is now safe and sound, Deputy Castellon knows that the recovered canine is representative of thousands who suffer similar abuse. He is adamant that the fight isn’t over. “We can’t allow; we can’t sit back and let anyone abuse an animal,” he stated.
Sheriff Marceno told WINK News that he is investigating ways to crack down on animal abuse. “We want to start thinking about what we can do to stiffen the penalties,” the sheriff said. County ordinance confirms that, at present, a third-offense animal cruelty fine stands at a fairly insignificant US$500. Many would argue that this fine should be much, much higher.
“It seems like a very light penalty,” said Karen Fordiani, who works at Lee County Domestic Animal Services.
Even after offenders pay the penalty, animals still suffer the fate of being neglected or abused. “It’s very frustrating,” Fordiani said. “We’ll see the same animals impounded and then sometimes the second or third time. We see them hit by a car.”
To avoid this act from being repeated over and over again by offenders, the sheriff’s office hopes to create a database.
“So they go on a list and we can track them and see is this someone that’s a repeat offending, is it a first-time offense?” the sheriff said. “For me, one offense is too many.”
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