A Fort Greene, N.Y. man convicted of aggravated animal cruelty received only four months in prison — a sentence that shocked animal lovers, as well as the District Attorney.
Dudley Ramsey, a 25 year old, 270-pound iron worker, became angry with his Dachshund puppy, Junior, while trying to give him a bath. He slammed Junior against the side of the tub, breaking six of the puppy’s ribs and damaging his lungs and liver. When he took the tiny Dachshund to a vet (six hours later), he died.
And this wasn’t the first time a dog has died under Ramsey’s care. After he was convicted, Ramsey reportedly shrugged off the measely four month sentence and admitted to killing another Dachshund. That dog, Viola, was later found buried in his girlfriend’s back yard; there was not enough evidence to go to trial.
The “slap on the wrist” sentence was a shock to almost everyone involved with the case. The DA, Carol Moran, allegedly received over 100 emails pleading that Ramsey be given the maximum two year sentence for aggravated animal abuse. She, herself, was pushing for that outcome. Alas, for whatever reason, judge Michael Gary did convict Ramsey of aggravated abuse, a felony, but gave only a minimal sentence.
Ramsey’s lawyer argued that “If he intended to kill or seriously injure [the dog] he would not be bathing it, or giving it medicine, discipline it or take it to the vet.”
Whether killing the puppy was intentional or not, it’s probably safe to say Ramsey has issues with rage, violence and abuse. His behavior certainly illicits a conversation about the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence.
Different states have different laws when it comes to animal cruelty. In fact, only 46 states have felony sentences for animal abuse — meaning that in four states, Ramsey could have abused the puppy in any way and only have been charged with a misdemeanor.
Animal abuse is a serious, dangerous crime. Other animals are protected from mistreatment under the Animal Welfare Act, but this law doesn’t include an individual’s abuse of domestic animals.
Tell the U.S. Congress to add on to the Animal Welfare Act by signing this petition. Make animal abuse a felony crime in all 50 states, set a minimum sentence for animal cruelty convictions, and prevent those convicted of animal cruelty from owning another pet.
To help protect domestic animals throughout the world from violence, encourage the United Nations to set guidelines for the treatment of animals by signing this petition.