A Douglas County man gets 30 days for animal torture and was sentenced under what is supposed to be ,a tough new law to combat animal abuse.
Rodney Shoop, 54 received a deferred sentence of one to three years.
He was found guilty of shooting a stray cat, mutilating it and then throwing the cat’s head into a neighbors yard.
In addition to the “deferred” sentence, Shoop also must serve five years of probation, participate in an alcohol treatment and anger management program and perform 100 hours of community service working at an animal shelter.
He did apologize before he was sentenced and, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, said that he makes bad decisions when he drinks.
The Public Defender representing Shoop said that his client was actually an animal lover who owns a cat that sleeps with him every night. He also claimed that the stray cat got into a fight with his cat and he was left with hundreds of dollars in veterinarian bills.
Although there are laws in place in Nevada to provide harsh penalties for animal abusers under the Cooney’s Law, it appears that Nevada judges are reluctant to utilize the available sentences and still “go easy” on people that subject animals to horrific abuse.
Cooney’s Law is a relatively new law passed a year ago which provides harsher measures for animal cruelty. The law makes the killing of animals, such as dogs and cats, a felony in Nevada joining 44 other states who have similar laws.
A felony charge for animal abuse in Nevada comes with a one-to-five year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000 however, as evidenced in this horrific, disturbing case of the man chopping up and beheading a cat, he will only spend 30 days in jail.
In July, two teens who subjected kittens to horrific abuse before killing them were likewise given “light”, slap on the wrist sentences, that also included community service working at an animal shelter.
Shoop received nearly the same sentence as the teens, yet he could have, and in many people minds should have, received a harsher sentence.
Is community service the right thing? More importantly, will it really make any difference in the future behavior of animal abusers?
Would you sentence a sex offender that molested children to community service at a day care facility?
Of course not!
Is the logic of sentencing a animal abuser to working with animals the answer, or will it simply make them despise animals even more and have an available pool of defenseless animals to make their next victims?
A Douglas Country man gets 30 days for animal torture, the Nevada teens got off light and, so far, Cooney’s Law fails to deliver.
It’s not the law that is the problem; it is the judges who are sentencing these offenders to light sentences.
Nevada had the opportunity to take a strong stance, and send even a stronger message, under Cooney’s Law and, has thus far, failed miserably.
If you are interested in supporting animal rights, please visit the facebook page of the Nevada Voters for animals