By Carolyn Maroon
Recently there was a disturbing story about animal cruelty. The only way these crimes start is when the punishment fits the crime. This is a chance for Florida to set the standard. Here in Baltimore, Mayer Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has recently passed legislation that enforces animal cruelty laws, which is a positive step in the right direction.
Below is a letter I’d write to Florida’s Assistant State Attorney regarding the case.
November 5, 2010
Ms. Erin Oliver
Assistant State Attorney
P.O. Box 590
Chipley, FL 32428
Dear Ms. Oliver,
This is a request to pursue the strongest penalties available under Fla. Stat.
§ 828.12 against greyhound trainer, Ronald “Ronnie” John Williams. The state anti-cruelty statute states that a person “who intentionally commits an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, is guilty of a felony of the third degree” which is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine per act.
So far 33 dogs that were in Mr. Williams care have died. Mr. Williams is being held on a $54,000 bond and has been charged on 37 felony counts for committing animal cruelty for starving nearly 40 greyhounds, and in some cases, suffocating them by duck taping their necks to cut off their air supply.
This man needs to be held accountable for his unconscionable actions and I respectfully implore you and your office to use the full power of the law to penalize Mr. Williams. By doing so, you will not only be protecting other dogs but people as well. If Mr. Williams is capable of doing such horrid things to a defenseless animal then he is also capable of doing the same to a person.
Too many times across the country and here in Maryland these acts are punished by a mere slap on the wrist. Florida has an opportunity to send a message and set a standard that other states could follow.
Thanks for your time and for fighting to protect life in all forms.
Carolyn and John Maroon
(owners’ of Connie & Gabe)
Carolyn Maroon is Office Manager of Maroon PR. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.