The other day I did a story on Maryanne Adams, of Greenwood Lake, NY who starved her dog, Princess, to death in February. Charged only with ‘failing to provide sustenance,’ a misdemeanor, she pleaded guilty. Her sentence? 100 hours of community service, $1000 fine and $300 in restitution to the Warwick Valley Humane Society.

I was, and am, upset and angry about the sentencing. The Justice said the sentence was due to her children. I’m sorry, I just don’t see it and it seems I am not the only one. I came across this story and thought it was worth sharing because it practically mirrored my feelings.

Dog ruling is too lenient

When it comes to flawed reasoning by somebody in a black robe, the worst example in a long time came in Warwick this week where a town justice tempered the sentence of a dog killer because of what he said was concern for the woman’s children.

You don’t have to be an animal rights activist to be outraged by the ruling. You don’t even have to be interested in the gruesome details of how the woman’s dog suffered and eventually starved to death.

The woman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to provide sustenance to her St. Bernard-collie mix, an 80-pound dog when adopted last summer. When investigators found the dog motionless in the backyard, her eyes were matted shut, and she had no food in her digestive tract. A veterinarian said she likely took months to die.

Prosecutors recommended a sentence that sounds reasonable, even lenient, although within the law, and wanted it applied in a way that was more than fair. They suggested that the woman serve a 60-day sentence spread out over 30 weekends. People who work two jobs or split shifts face equal child-care challenges all the time.

The justice did not see it that way and changed the sentence to 100 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine and $300 in restitution to the Warwick Valley Humane Society. He did that, he said, because she has children.

That is a terrible precedent, one that is sure to be requested elsewhere by any admitted criminal who wants to avoid appropriate punishment. Punishment is supposed to fit the crime and, in this case, there was no reason it could not.

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