Outrage over dog shooting sentences
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 6:03p.m.
By Emma Brannam
Animal welfare groups are furious at the sentence for two men who killed 33 dogs, most of them puppies.
Tony Campbell and Russell Mendoza got no jail time, even though the judge herself called for a sentence that would deter.
Instead, the pair got six months' home and community detention respectively, and were ordered to pay just over $4,000 reparation each, and do 300 hours community service.
SPCA director Bob Kerridge said the sentencing did not send a strong enough message.
“The judge made it clear that this sentencing was to send a message that animal cruelty is unacceptable. I don't believe that this message sends that,” he said.
Nicole Whippy of Paw Justice agreed.
“Six months' home detention, I don't know if that, in her words is going to deter anyone else from doing this. It's pretty much like being grounded,” she said.
The sentences relate to what the judge called a "massacre" at a rural Wellsford property two years ago. Thirty-three dogs were slaughtered as they cowered or tried to run. Twenty-one were puppies.
Judge Mary Beth Sharp said it was a cruel death for the dogs.
“The dogs that died of course were victims. Some died instantaneously, others didn't and their deaths were cruel and painful,” she said.
The men claimed they were given permission to shoot all the dogs by the owner Roger Hargreaves because one had killed Mendoza's fox terrier.
At trial, Ms Sharp described the killings as "fuelled by emotion and bloodlust".
But today she did acknowledge the dogs kept by Mr Hargreaves had been unregistered.
“I cannot and will not consider the harm to Mr Hargreaves to be quite as aggravating had that situation not been so,” she said.
The men could have been jailed for up to three years. The judge accepted however that both offenders had suffered greatly from adverse publicity, and said that home and community detention was punishment enough.
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23/07/2012 5:32:18 p.m.
BLESSED FORGIVENESS wrote:
Lets forgive them for what they did and forget this horrible episode and learn from our beloved dogs and rise above this hatred. Just this time a year ago and last Friday night worse things happened between people that we need to focus on and resolve our attitude to each other. Sweat the big crimes
21/07/2012 7:07:38 a.m.
Wicked cruelty wrote:
These men are intimidating thugs they should have gone to prison - what sort of message is this sending? it's OK to gun down helpless creatures with no concern for their stress or pain. What a shocking judical decision they should be paying the SPCA $400,000! Home detention?... seems someone got to the Judge! Hope these men SUFFER every day of their lives for their crime.
21/07/2012 5:20:33 a.m.
Martin Bachmann wrote:
Once again you show us how weak & pathetic you are, NZ justice system. Could you not sleep at night, with the thought that these 2 criminals should be properly punished? Truely disappointed with the lack of compassion that I've witnessed reading this. Grow some balls & do whats right for these poor animals.
21/07/2012 5:02:03 a.m.
This is part of the problem - judges letting sociopaths like this off easy. It does not send a message that barbaric animal cruelty like this will not be tolerated in our society. It does however, send a message that you'll get off easy. Or even be glorified and make millions like Michael Vick after you say you're "sorry." Enough it enough. We have to take our outrage and start demanding harsher sentances for the likes of these sociopaths.
20/07/2012 9:36:07 p.m.
Susan Judd wrote:
An absolutely disgusting, disappointing and apalling outcome for Paw Justice!How could those cowards have suffered? The whole result makes one cringe.
20/07/2012 8:31:27 p.m.
Who paid the judge off wrote:
Who paid her off...........and with what??
20/07/2012 8:28:56 p.m.
I can't believe how lightly they got off. It's unbelievable that they weren't given the maximum sentence. Bohoo, they suffered from adverse publicity...they should know how people feel about their crime.
20/07/2012 8:26:39 p.m.
This is disgusting, beyond disgusting. As it is, NZ has enough issues with animal abuse. NZ needs to toughen up, make an example of these creeps. They're only going to do it again. If they can slaughter so many helpless animals, worse "Man's best friend", what else are the capable of? Isn't it proven that all serial killers start by torturing and killing animals?
This needs to stop, they should be subjected to the same treatment that they themselves inflicted on those poor dogs. It makes my blood curdle to read that they get off with almost no punishment. They think they have the right to play god with those animals lives? I hope someone does it to them, they do not deserve to be tried as men. They are monsters.
20/07/2012 7:40:35 p.m.
Campbell and Mendoza should have got jail time. In my opinion they took the law into their own hands...it's that simple. If they had let the Police & SPCA handle the situation the outcome may have been very different. The sentencing is just a slap on the hand, not something that actually fits the crime.
20/07/2012 7:10:58 p.m.
Easy Goin' wrote:
That Judge sure got a sense of sensible sentancing. What if the traumatized SPCA staff don't want him there for 300 hours? Maybe they'll do to him what would have happened as wished by others if he had gone to prison ... biff bashed and he'll be lucky if he gets out alive
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