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Man Gets 9 Months for Stabbing Church Therapy Cat


Animals  (tags: therapy cat, stabbing, church, court, sentence, animalcruelty )

Raffi
- 1958 days ago - seattlepi.com
The man who admitted to stabbing a church therapy cat and breaking its ribs was sentenced Friday afternoon to nine months in alcohol treatment while spending nights in jail. Tracy Clark, 48, had pleaded guilty last month in King County Superior



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Raffi LidoRoiz (312)
Friday July 17, 2009, 4:09 pm
Man gets 9 months for stabbing church therapy cat

By CASEY MCNERTHNEY
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

The man who admitted to stabbing a church therapy cat and breaking its ribs was sentenced Friday afternoon to nine months in alcohol treatment while spending nights in jail.

Tracy Clark, 48, had pleaded guilty last month in King County Superior Court to first-degree animal cruelty.

In court Friday, Clark apologized to the pastor of the church where the incident happened -- and to Scatt, the orange and white cat he attacked. Scatt is recovering.

"I very very much regret what happened that night," Clark said.

At the time of the April attack, Clark had been living at The Cross Church at 1320 S.W. 102nd St. in White Center. Immediately after the incident Clark told another resident he'd "gutted the cat," according to court documents.

Scatt had been helping recovering substance abusers at the church for nearly a decade. He showed up as a stray and at first was leery of people, but "adopted" the staff and residents, they said.

"He would sleep on the guys' bunks, and people would feed him," Mike Stinnette, the church's rehabilitation program director, told seattlepi.com earlier this year. "He would come in when we were having service and hang out with us.

"He's part of our family."

Scatt suffered three broken ribs and a 7-inch gash on his torso. Clark told officers the cat had attacked him and he retaliated in self-defense.

When Stinnette returned from taking Scatt to the vet after the attack, Clark had packed his belongings and left the center.

"Some of the guys we deal with who come from a little harder background wanted to go take care of the guy themselves," Stinnette said earlier this year. "I was probably one of those guys. But we didn't."

Stinnette called police after seeing Clark walking in White Center and followed him until King County Sheriff's deputies arrived.

"Clark admitted to taking the cat by the throat and throwing the cat hard against the wall after it attacked him," Det. Debby Schmitz wrote in a probable-cause document.

Police said Clark, of Vancouver, admitted the knife he was found with was the one he used to stab the cat.

Sentencing Clark, Hayden ordered that he attend a day addiction-treatment program and spend his nights in jail during the nine-month term.

"Frankly," Hayden said, "I don't want to send a drunk out on work release."

Clark tried to say he was not an assaultive-type person.

"Would you explain your six prior assaults on people?" King County Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden asked.

"Drinking," Clark responded.

Hayden said he had a pretty good history of that, too, racking up about a dozen alcohol or drug offenses. Clark acknowledged his drinking was out of control, but said he was not trying to use that as an excuse.

"You are using alcohol as an excuse," Hayden said. "You're the one who drinks the alcohol you're the one who beats up people when you're drinking alcohol and now you just happen to have done it to a cat."

First-degree animal cruelty was a misdemeanor, but in the early 1990s the King County Prosecutor's Office asked the Washington State Legislature to amend the statute making cases involving deliberate acts of cruelty a felony.

"This is exactly the kind of case we had in mind when we asked for changes to the law," King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a statement earlier this year. "We know from case studies that many offenders who exhibit cruelty toward animals escalate from their violence and direct it toward people."

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Craig Peterson said he hopes the sentence sends a message that people should not hurt defenseless animals.

Scatt was treated at the South Seattle Veterinary Hospital. All veterinary care, including intravenous fluids, X-rays and extensive wound treatment, was paid for by animal rescue group Pasado's Safe Haven.

"It never fits the crime," Pasado's operations manager Brendan Brannen said of animal cruelty sentences. "The judge even knew that."
 

Jamie L. (195)
Friday July 17, 2009, 4:11 pm
Very sad... it's just gonna continue... :( Thanks Raffi!
 

Laura H. (899)
Friday July 17, 2009, 4:12 pm
This isn't punishment enough for Clark and he will do it again.
Poor Scatt...I am happy he is on the mend.
 

. (0)
Friday July 17, 2009, 4:30 pm
Unbelievable
Breaks my heart and p***** me off !!!
He should get his ass kicked to the point he wouldn't know his name any more
 

Rhonda Maness (583)
Friday July 17, 2009, 5:42 pm
The punishment doesn't fit the crime. The laws concerning animal abuse need reformation; the penalties are not individualized and need to be more severe.
 

Annie Cowling (118)
Friday July 17, 2009, 5:43 pm
ANOTHER SLAP IN THE FACE FOR OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM, IT IS JUST NOT FARE. THEY MAKE IT SO EASY FOR SICK PEOPLE TO GET AWAY WITH SUCH CRUELTY, AND WRONG DOING. THANK -YOU RAFAEL.
 

Joycey B. (750)
Friday July 17, 2009, 6:01 pm
This cesspool is a threat to society and should stay locked up. Thanks Raffi.
 

Cristina S. (338)
Friday July 17, 2009, 6:45 pm
Thanks! for the update. I remeber reading about this case.
 

Kelly c. (100)
Friday July 17, 2009, 9:58 pm
Must be the devil in him to stab an innocent cat like that! Furious!

Thanks Rafael for sharing this!!
 

Eileen R. (13)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 12:18 am
what kind of disgusting low life would attack such a kind hearted animal. makes me feel sick that he would brag about gutting the poor cat. I'm so tired of hearing of these atrocious attacks on cats. Why do people think these are disposable animals? It breaks my heart that people don't care.
 

chris b. (2474)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 2:11 am
The therapy cat has hopefully recovered but I doubt he will be so trusting in future. You have to ask what is going on in the mind of someone who would do this, as the help this person was getting was obviously not enough to curb either the drinking or his violent behaviour!
 

Alfred Donovan (46)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 4:08 am
Good on you Claudia I could not have put any better myself.Lets hope your wish comes true.
 

Nancy Welch (68)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 5:53 am
9 months? WTF???? He should get 9 years or more!! Thanks Raffi for sharing.
 

Raffi LidoRoiz (312)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 11:48 am
Thanks everyone. I was astonished at this sentence-think of how all those who love him feel-helpless, I imagine. I have a therapy cat -he was given to me in hopes I'd rise from a catatonic shock from trauma and he is my light and my love. He has saved my life. Poor Scatt has a long road back. I, too, hope that this monster has his comeuppance in jail. Karma takes no prisoners.
 

mary f. (181)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 12:03 pm
i'm glad he's goin to jail maybe he'l meet someone like himself there and get his comuppance
 

Cynthia Sopel (62)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 2:56 pm
There's no excuse, PERIOD, whether you're drunk, high or mental!! Abuse is abuse. He'll get it coming to him! Poor cat...
 

Jelica R. (157)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 6:24 pm
Those big macho guys who attack women, children, small animals, and everybody who can't fight back are making me sick.
I am a peaceloving person, but, in such occasions, I just want to hurt them bad.
Cat attacked him, and he had to pull his knife. Oh, please!
I'm sure Scatt would never attack anybody, unless he was forced to.
And those addicts are never to blame for anything, it is always alcohol, or drugs, or other people. Judge Hayden had pointed it up nicely.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 1:38 am
Glad to hear Scatt is recovering; as Chris said he will need some "therapy" himself now if he is to regain trust in people. As for his attacker... wel, 'nuff said and I agree with it. Thanks Raffi.
 

Sally D. (88)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 2:55 am
I'm sorry, I am not normally a verbally abusive person, until it comes to evil, violent, barbaric, cruel, malicious, cowardly scumbags like this piece of work. Nine months? And then he gets to be out in the day & is only in jail at night time. Blaming drink??? If he knows he has vicious violent tendencies when he is drunk, then he shouldn't drink. Drink does bring out violence in men, but this is NO EXCUSE. Anyway there is the kind of violence when men are drunk when they throw a few objects, punch a door or fight with other men, (which there are quite a few men who do this & I do not condone), but that is a million miles away from this sort of sociapathic violence when a man (even if he is drunk) throws an innocent cat against the wall and then stabs it viciously. This sort of violence takes a certain mentality, usually sociapathic, psychopathic or just pure evil. LOCK HIM UP FOR GOOD AND THROW AWAY THE KEY. THE WORLD WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIM. I am so sick of reading, hearing & seeing pictures of what these scumbags do to our gentle beautiful animals who cannot fight back.
SALLY D.
 

Betsy Bee (1043)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 7:22 am
If the culprit is sane, he should be locked up a lot longer than 5 months. If he is mentally ill, he should be on monitored medications and cared for himself.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 7:25 am
This is why I love C2. Look at the reaction. All the people here who responded are animal lovers with huge hearts. Being drunk is never an excuse. His actions would have been the same,? say, if a child was verbally harassing him?Probably, that is what is scary.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 7:32 am
great point sharen -a man that will abuse/kill an animal -will abuse/kill a child -now why won't the courts judge according to the facts that have been proven time and time and again? thank you rafael.
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 8:30 am
I can't help but wonder about what goes through the minds of the people that cause harm to animals. Yes, we are given psychological reasons, but really something more must be going on, something deeply wrong and twisted. Will jail change anything about this man? I have serious doubts, does jail ever "fix" broken people? Maybe if during that time in jail these people had to learn to care for and learn to gain the trust of animals, learn to establish friendship (maybe for the first time) with animals then the jail time might mean something. I think all prisoners should be assigned animals to care for, nothing brings out the humanity in us like actually learning the kind of relationship that can exist only between one person and one pet. (who is the pet?) I hope this cat can again trust people, but it's certainly easy to understand if he cannot. If this had been done to a human being - no matter what kind of person they were, the punishment would be far more then a few months. Is that the problem? We show our disregard by such light punishment for acts of terrible cruelty. "When will we ever learn?"
 

Glenda B. (158)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 8:48 pm
Thank you Raffi
9 months is a joke, agrees with Claudia on kicking his A%$ in the most enormous way
He will get his Karmic justice ...creep
 
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