Judge Teaches Dog Abuser A Lesson

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Alyssa Morrow at the garbage dumpAlyssa Morrow at the garbage dump

A judge sentenced a woman accused of animal abuse to an unconventional punishment.

Ohio judge Michael Cicconetti is well-known for his creative punishments, and the case of Alyssa Morrow was no exception.

Morrow pleaded guilty to animal neglect after locking her 7-year-old pitbull, Moose, in her house for a week with little access to food or water. The house was in a deteriorating condition, according to Little Things, and covered with dirt and filth. When Moose was found, his fur was falling off and he was severely dehydrated and hungry.  

After Morrow pleaded guilty, Cicconetti offered her a choice: 90 days in jail, or spend eight hours working at a dump. 

“I want you to live like Moose, and in order to do that 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 what you did to that dog while you smell the odor," said Cicconetti to Morrow. "If you puke, you puke."

According to ABC, Morrow chose the dump. 

Cicconetti's eccentric punishments show his belief there is more than one way for justice to be served. His philosophy is to create a punishment that truly fits the crime and could have the possibility to teach the criminal a lesson.

"A judge can simply follow the law and if somebody committed the crime, here are the possible penalties," he told ABC. "Sure, you can do that and you go home and you can rest easy. Or you can take each case a little more personal and still apply that same law."

His philosophy seems to be working. He claims his punishments lead to fewer relapses in criminal behavior. While the national recidivism rate is over 75 percent, Cicconetti says his county has a rate of only 10 percent.

“I definitely didn’t think I’d be here [at the dump]," says Morrow, "but I’d rather be here than jail. I can’t complain."

Moose recovered fully and Little Things reports he has been adopted to a loving family.

Sources: ABC News, Little Things / Photo credit: ABC News

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