Unconventional sentence handed down by judge for woman who neglected her dog

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When justice is served in an unconventional manner, one Ohio woman will likely think twice before she neglects her dog again. As judges have become more resolute when handing out fines and prison sentences for animal cruelty and neglect cases, perhaps when the punishment actually fits the crime, there is more of an impact on a society where slaps on the wrists have become too commonplace.

Take for instance Painesville, Ohio Judge Michael Cicconetti, who decided the fate of admitted animal abuser, Alyssa Morrow. The woman had abandoned her seven-year-old pit bull, Moose and left him alone in the house with no food or water. When animal control officers arrived, they found the dog living in abominable filth and squalor crammed with junk and filled with feces and urine. According to AbcNews, Moose was emaciated, and lucky for the pooch, authorities were able to remove him from the egregious conditions and slowly bring him back to health.

Morrow could have been fined or sent to jail, but Judge Cicconetti, known for his unique method of sentencing, decided to give the woman a taste of what it must have been like for Moose.

“You know, I can’t interpret the feelings of a dog. But, boy, if dogs could tell you how they felt – scared, frightened and sick, maybe you should get a little taste of that? I’m going to let you have a choice here, and the choice is I want you to live like Moose,” stated the judge as Morrow and her attorney stood for sentencing.

And so Judge Cicconetti ordered Morrow to go to the county dump and find the worse, stinkiest place in the landfill and sit there for eight hours.

“Just think what you did to that dog while you smell the odor,” the judge told her.

If Morrow refused to go to the dump, she would have been sentenced to 90 days in jail, and so the next day she arrived at the city dump dressed in rubber boots and a fluorescent jacket as movie cameras from AbcNews followed her for the day; with Morrow admitting she rather would have been at the dump picking up garbage than having been locked up in jail for the next three months.

Cicconetti said he doesn’t believe the law as it is written can really be the only way to serve justice.

“A judge can simply follow the law and if somebody committed the crime, here are the possible penalties. How much of that do I impose? Sure, you can do that and you go home and you can rest easy. Or you can take each case a little more personal and still apply that same law.”

Other sentences that have gone viral, include Judge Cicconetti telling defendant Victoria Bascom she could choose between a 30 day jail sentence or a 30 mile walk after she left a cab driver high and dry by not paying him. Once the judge ordered an 18-year-old to wear a chicken suit in public to shame him after he stole pornography. And the unique way the judge dispenses justice must be working, because his recidivism rate is only 10% as compared to the national average of 50%.

What we do know about animal cruelty is making punishments more severe is the only way to send the message this will not be tolerated.

And yes, Moose has since recovered and adopted to a wonderful family.

(Photos of unconventional sentence handed down to animal abuser)

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

Beautiful transformation – see how an abandoned dog recovered from near death (click here for adoption story).

You share your house with a bear?! Read the incredible story here.

15 replies
  1. Star Shelley says:

    Love you judge Cicconette ruling. Finally a judge that has a heart. Yea Judge, you are a true animal lover.

  2. maxiemom says:

    I really do like the way this judge thinks! Too bad so many judges let this vermin off without even a slap on the wrist. I’d settle for the kind of sentence he gave this scumbag than jail time, because something like this will make more of an impression than a short time in jail, time served, and time off for good behavior.

  3. Darla says:

    I was hoping against hope that the Judge would sentence her to live EXACTLY like Moose did – without food, water, etc. but her punishment was still better than a slap on the wrist.

    • susispot says:

      I was too. She should have had to be hungry and thirsty. No real bed in a skunky pig sty littered room. That would have been a real lesson.

      • Nancy Raymond says:

        She should have been put in a cage and stuck in that dump for at least 72 hours – no way for this hunk of pond scum to even scavenge for food – I do applaud the judge but she deserved more.

    • Mark says:

      I agree. Picking up garbage for 8 hrs is not enough. Since she didn’t want the jail time I would have chosen that instead.

  4. Barkley's Mom says:

    Finally a judge that “gets” it! This is the kind of justice we need and most likely it will bring results instead of just fining someone and giving them a slap on the wrist. Thank you Judge Cicconetti for having an imagination and coming up with a punishment to fit the crime!

  5. slv says:

    What a wonderful judge!!!! He has my full support and I absolutely hope other judges are taking notice and will follow by his excellent example!!!!!!!!! BTW, I think the judge should have made her go without some food for awhile. Looks like she could loose a few pounds too!!!!!!!

  6. pamela bolton says:

    I think the judge should have given her BOTH jail time and one week at the dump. Still too lenient for my taste. Need to get VERY serious with the sentences.


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