A 40-year-old Washington C.H. woman was fined $100 and ordered to do community service this week after pleading guilty to abandoning a rabbit, which was found deceased Aug. 14 inside a North Fayette Street apartment.
On Wednesday in Washington Municipal Court, Julie R. Ross pleaded guilty to abandoning animals and prohibitions concerning animals. An acting judge in Washington Municipal Court sentenced Ross to a $100 fine and 30 days community service, with 15 days suspended on condition of good behavior for a period of one year on each charge, according to Municipal Court records.
The maximum penalty for each of the second-degree misdemeanor charges is a $750 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS) agent Brad Adams was critical of the sentence in a press release.
“I don’t feel the defendant should be allowed to own an animal for the terrible suffering of the rabbit,” he wrote in a statement. “It was found dead in a decomposing state and that didn’t happen overnight. A 100 dollar fine is the amount that someone could receive for a speeding violation, and until offenders receive stiffer penalties, crimes against animals won’t be taken seriously.”
On Aug. 14, Sgt. Jeff Funari of the Washington Police Department responded to the North Fayette Street apartment on a report of a deceased animal. He found the rabbit in an upstairs bedroom inside of a cage. Funari then notified Adams of the incident.