If you are an animal lover, whenever a pet is neglected, harmed, or abused, I bet your heart breaks into a thousand pieces.
Unfortunately, animal abuse happens often, and many believe that it is a result of the fact that most of these people receive little to no punishment.
The scariest thing about it all is that animal rights activists maintain that the shocking number of animal cruelty cases reported does not show the harsh reality, as most cases of such violence are never reported.
After growing up in the company of Herman, his mixed-breed Dachshund dog, Judge Michael Cicconetti has developed a deep love for animals.
After the death of his pet, he became even more affectionate for them.
Nowadays, Judge Mike owns Kasey, a 10-year-old Bernese mountain dog, gifted to him from a dying friend as a remembrance offering.
This kind-hearted man is enraged by people who cannot love their own pets.
Due to his creative sentences for first-timers in minor offenses, he has garnered a reputation in Painesville, Ohio.
If the sanctions are too cliché, Judge Mike often takes his time to teach offenders some unusual, but worthwhile lessons, always within the limits of the law.
Yet, as a result of the lenient sanctions, many animal abusers do not even care if they are caught or not.
Judge Mike believes that Ohio laws are not suitable for this kind of assault. When a lady left her dog, Moose, in a filthy environment for days, she was charged with neglect. Yet.
She had to choose, whether to spend a night in prison, or accept the unusual sentence of the judge:
“I want you to go down to the county dump, to the landfill, and I want them to find the stinkiest, smelliest, God-awful odor place they can find in that dump and I want you to sit there for eight hours tomorrow, to think about what you did to that dog while you smell the odor. If you puke, you puke.”
Judge Mike always offers first-timers a choice and tries to teach them valuable lessons. Most offenders usually go with his offer, and we believe they cannot forget this punishment soon after leaving the court.
Sometimes, he adds a creative finish to the usual sanctions.
When another woman was charged with neglect in the Municipal Court of Painesville after abandoning 40 kittens in the cold woods at night, he sentenced her to a short time in jail, a fine to pay, and an additional punishment- a night in the cold, chilly woods.
He told her:
“How would you like to be dumped off at a metro park late at night, spend the night listening to the coyotes … listening to the raccoons around you in the dark night, and sit out there in the cold not knowing where you’re going to get your next meal, not knowing when you are going to be rescued?”
This silent soldier for animal welfare has found some pretty innovative ways to punish animal abusers.
He once sentenced a man to lead a donkey wearing a sign through the town, and another to wear a ridiculous chicken costume to apologize to birds.
He believes his punishments do not endanger people, but “that doesn’t mean that they can’t deal with a little discomfort and embarrassment.”
Yet, many accused Judge Mike of using these methods to become popular, but he claims:
“My wife lets me know if it goes on the television, but I don’t even need to watch it. I was there. I don’t do it to get my name in the news, but it gets in the news. I want people around here to know if they come to my court, they could be in for a surprise.”
Judge Mike believes that while he is serving up, he could use his influence to make a change, or at least, to raise awareness about animal abuse, its consequences, and the importance of ‘animal rights’.
He hopes that his publicity will inform the criminally ignorant and the general public at the same time. His goal is to see harsher sentencing for convicted animal abusers, as well as mandatory educational programs.