Animal Advocates

Judge Handed Woman Unusual Sentence for Abandoning 35 Kittens

Editors Note: This is an older story that’s recently resurfaced online. But, you’ve gotta read what this judge did!

Park rangers in Ohio found 35 kittens abandoned in two different parks in in Mentor, Ohio. Many of the young kittens had upper respiratory infections and nine of them later died. The kittens were traced back to Michelle M. Murray, age 25, because they were wearing identification collars.

According to ABC News:

Murray, a mother of three children and two stepchildren, said the kittens were left on her doorstep by a stranger and the local Humane Society refused to help. The Humane Society disputes that claim.

Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael A. Cicconetti handed down the sentence on Nov. 17, 2005. Here’s the kicker:

Judge Cicconetti ordered Murray to spend 14 days in jail, 15 days under house arrest, make a $3,200 donation to the Humane Society a $500 donation to the park rangers who found the kittens and spend one night alone in the woods.

According to a court judgment, Murray would allowed to carry and food or beverages other than water, nor would she be provided with shelter. However, she would be given a ‘means of communication for emergency purposes only.’ During the sentencing hearing, Cicconetti said that he wanted Murray to ‘listen to the coyotes, and hear the raccoons in the dark of night.’

What do you think of Judge Cicconetti’s unusual sentencing? Too harsh? …or not harsh enough?



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