News Index > Sortable News 10/06 - now > May 2007
Penalty for Animal Cruelty in Michigan

In Sterling Heights, Michigan, a judge has thrown the book at a young man for animal cruelty. The story is beginning to gain national attention because of both the crime, and the punishment.

Jason Kraft, 22, pleaded guilty in March to the charges that were brought against him in court. He admitted to starving his two-year-old German shepherd to death. He refused to feed the dog even though there was food near by.

He also refused to give his dog water or medication that was suggested for the dog. The pet slowly died while caged in Kraft's apartment. Kraft then illegally buried the animal against city and state regulations.

The Macomb County Circuit Court judge has ordered Kraft to serve ninety days in jail, and perform 500 hours of community service upon his release. Kraft is also required to pay nearly five thousand dollars in court fees and fines.

Kraft will be on probation until May of 2010. During that time, he will not be able to live in a home with an animal, or attempt to take care of an animal. Doing so will add more penalties, including jail time.

Many news sources outside of the Metro Detroit area are beginning to pick up this story because of both the cruelty of this case, and because of the sentence that Mr. Kraft was levied. Many are debating the sentence to see if it was just, or unjust.
Some human rights groups are pushing to have the sentence overturned because they believe that it is excessively harsh for the crime. They point to the fact that many violent crimes go without prosecution, and that there should be more of a focus on these crimes.

An animal rights supporter that I know has stated that she believes that, "any crime against animals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Anyone who brutalizes an animal is not that far away from brutalizing a person."

full story: why_a_michigan_animal_abuse_case_is.html

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