Painesville judge gives an unusual sentence for animal abusers

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 30, 2018
06:11 A.M.
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A judge, who also happens to be an animal lover, has found some creative ways to punish people who abuse animals. Judge Michael Cicconetti sentences offenders to the same conditions that they had put their pets under.


In one case that Cicconetti presided over, the offender had to go live in a rubbish dump as punishment. The Judge hopes to make the offenders realize that their treatment of their pets isn’t humane reports Animal Channel.

Cicconetti’s love of animals first began when he got his first dog. The dog was named Herman and it was a Dachshund-mix that became his childhood best friend.

Now, the Judge has a 10-year-old Bernese mountain dog named Kasey. All these years later, his love for animals hasn’t diminished one bit.


“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 Michael Cicconetti, Animal Channel, March 27, 2018

The Painesville, Ohio Judge’s compassion for animals follows him into the courtroom. In staying in line with the law, the Judge has become quite creative with his judgments.

He clarified that his punishments weren’t going to put anyone in danger, but “that doesn’t mean that they can’t deal with a little discomfort and embarrassment.”


One woman faced Cicconetti after her dog was found living in total filth. The Judge’s ruling for her was that she spends an entire day at the filthy, smelly local dump.


She, of course, wasn’t thrilled. In another case, a woman had abandoned 35 kittens in the woods and the Judge sentenced her to spend a night in the cold woods by herself, in addition to jail time and a fine.

Cicconetti asked her how she would like to be dumped off at a metro park to spend the night listening to the coyotes and raccoons around her in the dark night. He questioned her about how she would feel if she had to sit out there in the cold.

Not knowing where she’s going to get her next meal or when she would be rescued. The Judge hopes that his headline-making sentences create awareness about animal abuse and its consequences.


He said he wanted people to know that it was a crime. Cicconetti started giving out these creative rulings once he started to notice a trend of repeat offenders.

Since they didn’t seem to be learning their lessons, he wanted to figure out a way to make it stick. Ultimately, he hopes that mental evaluations will soon be required for animal-related crimes.

He would also like to see an animal abuse registry, like the sex offender registry, so that neighbors and shelters could be aware of past offenders.

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