As an animal lover, it’s particularly difficult for me to see animals being neglected or abused. Sadly, it’s a tragic fact that it happens to thousands of animals every day the world over.

Unfortunately, very few of those responsible are ever given appropriate sentences.

Now, though, one animal-loving judge, Michael Cicconetti, is taking the fight to those who think they can get away with light sentences for mistreating animals. He’s choosing to do everything in his power to protect those who have no one else to protect them.

Ever since getting his first dog, Ohio judge Michael has loved animals. A daschund-mix named Herman was his best friend throughout his childhood, and he currently owns a 10-year-old Bernese mountain dog named Kasey.

Facebook / Judge Mike Cicconetti

Yet, the judge’s passion for dogs isn’t confined to home alone. Animals are his true calling, and it’s certainly evident in his courtroom.

Obviously he’s somewhat restricted as to what he can do – he can’t bend laws or change things set in stone within judicial practise. That said, he has come up with a simple, yet effective way to give perpetrators a taste of their own medicine.

Here’s what Michael says: 

“These punishments won’t endanger anyone, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t deal with a little discomfort and embarrassment.”

Take for example a woman who recently found herself in front of Mike. Her dog was found living in complete filth and so Mike believed she should get a similar experience. Mike ruled that she had to spend a day at a local dump, all the while reflecting on the conditions she forced the dog to live in. After being told she would be sitting in literal filth, the woman was less than happy. Judge Mike had words for her, however:

“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.”

Facebook / Judge Mike Cicconetti

In another case where a woman abandoned 35 kittens in a local wood, he handed down a sentence that meant she had to spend a night alone in a wood herself, in addition to imprisonment and fines.

Michael hopes that his creative sentences will help raise awareness of ongoing animal abuse and neglect.

He wants people to know that mistreating animals is a serious issue, and one that should carry equally serious consequences.

Animal lover Mike wasn’t always inclined to add such sprinkles of flair to his sentences, but he realised he had to get his thinking cap on when he began to see a lot of returning criminals.

Since the standard punishments seemed to have little effect, he had to find his own unique way of tackling the problem.

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