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Animal abuse cases are on the rise, necessitating a tightening of rules and legislation. Animal mistreatment is prohibited by statute in Mississippi, and stringent laws are in effect to uphold those rules. Mississippi's animal cruelty law can be found in Title 97, Felony, and Chapter 41, Cruelty to Animals. The law aims to protect the lives, dignity, and freedoms of animals while they are in the care of their owners (Lippman 65). While there are situations where murdering an animal is justified, the method, intent, and time all play a role in determining whether or not there is a violation of the law. A critical assessment of past animal cruelty cases is important in addressing the circumstances that justify specific actions and the underlying penalties.
In 16 January 2016, a dog was found dead in Mississippi and investigation findings pointed towards one hunter who later admitted carrying out the offense. The hunter from Tylertown, Todd Hammond posted a dead dog and other comments on Facebook that set Louisiana police to investigate the matter (Broom 1). It was later found out that the hunter killed the dog in Clifton, Louisiana. Hammond admitted that he shot the dog over food plot and was equally without permit to hunt. Although the owner of the dog was never located, the case on cruelty towards the dog attracted the attention of the society. According to the statute 97-41-1, intentional killing of the dog contravene the law and attracted to penalty violation that constituted paying of fine, not exceeding one hundred dollars or prison sentence of not more than one hundred days. The charges against the Louisiana man were therefore valid and were in line with animal cruelty laws.
In 14 December 2016, a case of animal cruelty took place in Moss Point (WLOX). A video was released showing someone pouring an apparently hot liquid on a cat. The hot liquate put the cat in excruciating pain and amounted to extreme cruelty towards animals (WLOX 1). Before severe legal measures were taken, an investigation was launched. The cat that later died, showed it struggled with thermal burns and the autopsy revealed the same in the better part of the body. Henry Street was noted as the place of crime. While the search for the suspect who posted the video manifested the seriousness of the government authorities to implement the statute. This case amounted to aggravated animal cruelty that must be awarded with severe penalty (Lippman 79). According Mississippi statute, 97-41-1, the cat was tortured and mutilated by the hot water that eventually led to death. The ensuing penalty would be a jail term of a period not exceeding 100 days.
An outstanding case of animal cruelty was Davis v. Mississippi, 394 U.S. 721 (1969). Davis was sent to trial and later convicted of animal cruelty after allegedly choosing to mend the horse's broken leg instead of putting it down. Davis had fourteen horses and of the young horses try avoid people slipped and got a broken limb. There were variety of options that was at the disposal of Davis, but he chose to give the horse pain killer and wait for the wounded leg to calcify. While the court overruled animal cruelty, availability of other less painful remedial measures was to be taken. Davis was later convicted on the basis of violating willful provision of sustenance to the animal. The six months sentence on Davis was consistent with Mississippi states on animal cruelty. According to the statute 97-41-9, the owner of the animal must provide sustenance and violation of the same attracts a jail term or fine as stipulated in the statute 97-41-13.
In 17 November 2016, a man and the dog owner face animal cruelty charges in Lexington County. The Mississippi man was allegedly seen as having uploaded video on how he kicked a dog down the flight stairs. The video that went viral sparked public condemnation and caught the attention of the police. The video exposed a cruel treatment of the dog and amounted to animal cruelty case. The crime took place at the Cedarcrest Village Apartments in Lexington on October 16 (Kimberlei 1). The speed with which the public shared the information with the authorities reflected the level of awareness towards animal abuse. As the investigation was underway, the culprit, Mister, fled back to Mississippi. However, the owner of the dog had to take his share of liability on the matter. Timothy was later arrested and arraigned in court on charges of negligence after he failed to treat the dog. Besides, there was possible fear of answering questions about the source of injuries for the pet. The result was addition of other charges on obstruction of justice. Although the investigation is in progress, the suspect seems to have violated the statute 97-41-1, which emphasizes that living creatures should not to be cruelly treated.
Mississippi authorities have emphasized communal involvement to protect the animals. In that regard, members of the public are put on alert to report any case of animal cruelty. Commitment of the people was confirmed in an incidence in which residents of Laurel, Ms (Wdam) reported a man allegedly mistreating a kitten. In Jones County, a man was seen cutting a kitten with garden clippers. Several witnesses came forward and helped in legal pursuit against the suspect. The worrying trend on Mississippi cruelty on animal cases was shown by another incident in which a truck driver snatched a dog and bruised it for some distance before the police facilitated his arrest. The Man who unlawfully picked the dog tossed it on air in a show of frustration and malice. The violation of the statute 97-41-15 was clear in this case. The driver faces charges of deliberately inflicting pain and injuries on the animal.
In line with the increased animal rights activism across the world, Mississippi animal cruelty laws are in order. In fact, the overwhelming community support, alertnesss of authorities and strict judicial system, have collectively eased the number of animal cruelty cases (Lippman 112). Potential perpetrators are put on notice and the state is making efforts to impose considerate penalties on cases of violation.
Broom, Brian. Miss. Hunter Arrested after Admitting to Killing Dog. The Clarion-Ledger Published 6:58 a.m. CT Jan. 19, 2016 | Updated 7:01 a.m. CT Jan. 19, 201. Retrieved on 16 March 2017 from: http://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/2016/01/19/miss-hunter-arrested-after-admitting-killing-dog/78993852/
Davis, Kimberlei. Mississippi Man Arrested, Dog Owner Also Charged in Dog Abuse Case. Abccolumbia. Nov 17, 2016 4:27 PM. Retrieved on 16 March 2017 from: http://www.abccolumbia.com/2016/11/17/mississippi-man-arrested-dog-owner-also-charged-in-dog-abuse-case/
"Jones County man facing animal cruelty charges." WDAM-TV: News and Weather for the Hattiesburg, Laurel area - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS. N.p., 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
Lippman, Matthew R. Essential Criminal Law. 2013. Internet resource.
WLOX Staff. Cat at the center of alleged abuse dead; suffered thermal burns. WLOX. Thursday, December 15th 2016, 1:48 am MSK Retrieved on 16 March 2017 from: http://www.wlox.com/story/34044933/police-investigating-alleged-animal-abuse-video-find-cat-clinging-to-life
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