RIPSCA seeks higher penalties for animal cruelty violations

RIPSCA seeks higher penalties for animal cruelty violations. (WJAR)

The Rhode Island SPCA is coming down hard on the judicial system, saying they are not punishing animal cruelty offenders hard enough.

This comes on the heels of another animal cruelty verdict handed down in Warwick with under a $100 fine.

There have been a few cases lately, but this one concerns a cat that was found frozen to a box near a dumpster in February.

The cat had 11 pounds of fur shaved off of it because it was so matted.

Word has now come out that the cat's previous owner who dumped the cat, Donna Vessella, got off with a fine of $96 and change, with 20 hours of community service.

The president of the RIPSCA says it's been 16 years for him and he's seen Rhode Island improve and the laws themselves are good, but the way that these cases are handled with what he deems lesser punishments in the court room isn't enough.

Dr. E.J. Finnochio wants to see what he calls lenient pleas rejected by judges and harsher sentences handed down.

"I don’t know where the blame falls, but it just boggles my mind that someone with a parking ticket or littering pays more than animal cruelty," he said.

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