Steve Croley, owner of High Caliber K-9 kennels, where 7 dead and 12 starving dogs were found in October was sentenced to jail time this week in accordance with a plea agreement reached in December. Originally charged with nineteen counts of animal cruelty and neglect, Croley was arraigned on only four counts in court due to some procedural situations which you can read more about in the original story.
The plea agreement was that Croley plead no contest to 4 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and the sentence would be 30 days in jail on each count; restitution of $1,646 to Animal Charity, a humane agency on South Avenue that rescued dogs from the property; and a provision that Croley not own or harbor animals during his probation.
Although the judge could have imposed more time and fines than worked out in the plea deal, up to 90 days in jail and $750 fine for each count, Croley would have had the option to then withdraw his plea and go to trial. Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. basically stuck with the agreement.
Even as Judge Douglas said he found it hard “to understand what happened, why it happened,” he only sentenced Croley to 4 months jail, with 13 days served, the time he sat in jail prior to posting bail, restitution of $1,796 and serve three years’ probation, during which time he is not allowed to own or harbor any animal. He was also fined $1,000 and has six months to pay the fine and restitution.
“We feel good about the decision,” Nikole Owen, Animal Charity chief executive officer, said after court. “Initially we thought he would not receive jail time.”
I think the judge should have imposed the max at the very least, let Croley withdraw his plea and sent it to trial. I find it hard to believe that any jury could have sat through the trial, listened to the testimony of the horrors found at that hellhole, seen the pictures and not found him guilty! They would have charged the judge to throw the book at the whining bastard!
So for his crimes, only a few of which he could even be prosecuted for, Croley gets a slap on the wrist. Fifteen charges dropped and all of them only misdemeanors because Ohio doesn’t have felony laws for animal cruelty, 7 dead dogs that suffered horribly get no justice.
The grieving owners cannot get any satisfaction by filing a civil suit because Croley basically has nothing so no lawyer is going to take a case where there is nothing to even go after.
NO JUSTICE! This whole thing goes so far beyond sickening me it’s not even funny!